Eric L. Christiansen, an engineer in the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, has received the 2006 Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition (QASAR) Award, NASA’s highest honor for quality and safety.

The monetary award and QASAR plaque were presented today at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., during the annual NASA Honor Awards Ceremony.

Christiansen is the NASA micro-meteoroid orbital debris (MMOD) protection lead for the International Space Station, space shuttle and other spacecraft. MMOD includes micro-meteoroids and orbital debris, natural and human-created particles that can impact spacecraft at very high speeds, causing damage to exterior and interior components.

Christiansen was recognized for his outstanding technical contributions and team leadership in quantifying and reducing the threat from MMOD impacts to the space shuttle, space station, Crew Exploration Vehicle, spacesuits worn by spacewalkers and other spacecraft. Over the past 15 years, he has led the development of engineering enhancements for areas on spacecraft most vulnerable to MMOD impacts.

"I’m honored to have been selected for this award," said Christiansen. "Working the issues in developing and implementing effective micro-meteoroid orbital debris protection for the space shuttle, International Space Station and other spacecraft has taken a team effort from many individuals across many organizations at the Johnson Space Center and other NASA centers. Results from impact testing performed on spacecraft shields in the hypervelocity impact lab at the White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico were essential to this effort."

Christiansen noted his appreciation for the dedication and professionalism of the engineers and analysts in the Hypervelocity Impact Technology Facility at the Johnson Space Center.

A native of Indiana, Christiansen holds a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and a master’s in material science engineering, both from Purdue University, and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Technical University of Munich in Germany. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 publications on the subject of hypervelocity impact.

The QASAR Award recognizes government and contractor employees who have demonstrated exemplary performance in contributing to the quality and safety of products, services, processes, or management programs and activities.

Christiansen and three other individuals received 2006 QASAR Awards. Each nominee was initially nominated by their center director, and the nominations were evaluated and scored by each center?s safety and mission assurance director. This year’s four winners were chosen from among the 29 nominations received.

For more information about NASA?s Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition Award, visit: