General Roy Bridges, the incoming Center Director of
NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., today
announced the assignment of Ralph Roe, Jr. as his Special
Assistant. He’ll join Langley Aug. 10.

Roe, who’s currently the manager of the Space Shuttle Vehicle
Engineering Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston
(JSC), will assist General Bridges in the development of new
agency safety initiatives.

“When it comes to safety and engineering assessment, we have
some work to do and Ralph’s leadership in those areas will
help me kick into high gear,” said General Bridges in making
the announcement. “His tremendous engineering experience at
Johnson and Kennedy make him a natural selection to assist
this important agency imperative.”

Langley today forges new frontiers in aviation and space
research as it has since 1917, when it was established as the
nation’s first civilian aeronautics laboratory. The center
supports important agency initiatives in aviation safety,
quiet aircraft technology, small aircraft transportation and
aerospace vehicles system technology.

The Hampton center has played a vital role in the Columbia
investigation in the areas of entry aerodynamics,
aerothermodynamics, structures and materials research and
non-destructive evaluation. Langley also supports NASA space
programs with atmospheric research and technology testing and

NASA will be looking at these important capabilities to
bolster its independent engineering assessment and strengthen
the agency’s safety policies, processes and analysis.

Before his assignment at JSC in 1999, Roe was the Space
Shuttle Launch Director at the NASA Kennedy Space Center
(KSC) in Florida. He began his NASA career at KSC in 1983,
serving initially as a propulsion systems test engineer. He
also has been Chief, Fluid Systems Division, and Acting
Director, Process Engineering.

Roe was named Process Engineering director in October 1996,
with responsibility for the engineering management and
technical expertise of personnel involved in pre-launch,
landing, recovery and turnaround operations for the Space
Shuttle fleet.

As the manager of the Space Shuttle Vehicle Engineering
Office at JSC, Roe led a team of more than 2,000 government
and contractor engineers working on the fleet of NASA’s
orbiters. He has been instrumental in the technical
leadership role of several Space Shuttle anomaly
investigations and repairs.

“In the summer of 2002, it was Roe and his talented team of
engineers who found a solution to the tiny cracks that were
found in one of the metal liners used to direct the flow of
fuel inside the Shuttle’s main engine,” said Bill Parsons,
Space Shuttle Program Manager at JSC. “His engineering
expertise and his concern for the safety of everyone around
him made him a success at Kennedy and Johnson, and I am sure
he will serve at Langley with the same distinction to broaden
NASA-wide capabilities.”

Roe has a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical
engineering from the University of South Carolina, Columbia.
He also has a master’s degree in industrial engineering from
the University of Central Florida, Orlando.

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