Dr. Paul Munafo has been
appointed 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, Munafo
supervises approximately 550 scientists, technicians and support personnel
responsible for developing new materials and manufacturing techniques
used in the design of spacecraft and payloads for launch into space.

Munafo joined the Marshall
Center in 1975 as a materials research engineer. He is a three-time
recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal as well as numerous
other NASA awards and commendations.

Among his accomplishments
in the Materials Processes and Manufacturing Department, Munafo helped
develop a metal with the unique and valuable property of being stronger
when hot than when cold. It plays a vital role in the Space Shuttle
primary rocket engines. Other projects his department has worked on
include development of ball bearings that are 30 percent lighter than
steel but 40 percent stronger; and perfecting friction stir welding
— a process that allows metals to be joined together in a stronger
bond than with conventional fusion welding.

A native of Boston, Mass.,
Munafo graduated from Boston Technical High School in 1957. He earned
a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in Cambridge in 1962, and a master’s degree
in mechanical engineering from Tulane University in New Orleans in1971.
Munafo later earned a doctorate degree in materials science from Auburn
University in Auburn, Ala.

Munafo is married to the
former Virginia Perkins of Brookhaven, Mass. They live in Huntsville
and have three grown children: Robert Gillis, Rob Munafo, and Susan

The Marshall Center is NASA’s
premier center for the development of future space transportation technologies
and manages all of the propulsion elements that lift the Space Shuttle
into orbit.