Dr. Alan Chow, an aerospace technologist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight
Center in Huntsville, Ala., has been awarded a 2001 NASA Administrator’s

As a research technologist for the Marshall Center’s Propulsion Research
Center, Chow studies advanced propulsion technologies for future-generation
launch vehicles and deep-space missions NASA will undertake in coming

Under the NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Program, Chow will spend 18-22
months conducting plasma aerodynamics research at Oakwood College in
Huntsville. He will study the impact of aerodynamic forces on advanced
propulsion systems powered by super-energized gases in an ionized state, or
plasma. Chow hopes to partner with the school and other Alabama colleges and
universities to create a permanent center for plasma research at Oakwood

The fellowship awards program is intended to enhance minority-serving
institutions’ efforts to assist NASA research and development and to give
NASA employees the chance to teach and conduct research at minority colleges
and universities. The program is administered annually by the United Negro
College Fund Special Programs Corp. in Washington, D.C.

“I’m pleased to see Alan’s work recognized in this way,” says Dr. Steve
Rodgers, manager of the Propulsion Research Center at Marshall. “The
cooperative technology research and development conducted by NASA and our
esteemed colleagues in academia is critical to NASA’s 21st century missions.

“This award honors not only a valued member of our team, but the diligence
and commitment of our academic partners, who ensure future space
transportation and propulsion systems are as safe, cheap and reliable as
today’s commercial airliners,” Rodgers says.

Chow was born in Tientsin, China, and moved to the United States in 1963,
working and residing for many years in the Washington, D.C., area before
moving to Alabama to attend college. He earned a doctorate in 1991 in
mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where
he also earned his graduate and undergraduate degrees in aerospace

When he joined NASA’s Marshall Center in 1987, Chow first served in the
solid propulsion branch of the center’s Propulsion Laboratory. He spent six
years researching combustion physics before joining the Structures and
Dynamics Laboratory in 1997 to pursue fluid dynamics research and analysis.
He joined the Propulsion Research Center at Marshall in 1999, and has since
focused on the study of magnetohydrodynamic and plasma technologies, seeking
more energetic means of propelling spacecraft out of Earth orbit and beyond
the solar system.

Chow, his wife Elizabeth and their children reside in Huntsville.

For more information about the NASA Administrator’s Fellowship Program,