M. Ralph Carruth Jr. has been named deputy manager of the Materials,
Processes, and Manufacturing Department in the Engineering Directorate at
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

In his new position, Carruth will oversee the work of several hundred
engineers and technicians who conduct test and analyses; build hardware for
a wide range of NASA programs, including the Space Shuttle and the
International Space Station; and develop new technology for future launch
and space vehicles.

Carruth began his career at NASA at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, Calif., in 1978 as an engineer. In 1981, he moved to the Marshall
Center as an aerospace engineer, assigned to the Electronics and Control
Laboratory. Since that time, he has also served at Marshall as chief of the
Physical Sciences Branch, chief of the Engineering Physics Division, and
head of the Environmental Effects Group in the Materials, Processes, and
Manufacturing Department.

“NASA continues to conduct amazing explorations and produce scientific
results that everyone can be excited about,” said Carruth. “Some of NASA’s
future plans are aimed at further exploring the solar system and developing
launch vehicles to get us to space in a very reliable and much less
expensive manner. I’m really excited about being able to play a bigger part
in these plans through my new position.”

Carruth grew up near Malvern, Ark., graduating from Poyen High School, in
Poyen, Ark., in 1971. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from the
University of Central Arkansas in Conway in 1975, his first master’s degree
in physics from the University of Arkansas in 1978. In 1989, he completed a
master’s in theoretical physics at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Carruth is internationally recognized as an authority on ion propulsion and
the interactions of thrusters with spacecraft. He has received dozens of
awards during his career, and is considered a pioneer of techniques dealing
with atomic oxygen interaction with material.

Carruth is married to the former Sharon Poye of Pine Bluff, Ark. The couple
has four children, Daniel, Jason, Brian, and RaeAnne. Carruth, his wife and
daughter reside in Huntsville