Investments in technology and innovation enable new space missions, stimulate the economy, contribute to the nation’s global competitiveness, and inspire America’s next generation of scientists, engineers and astronauts. Space Technology Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Michael Gazarik will provide an overview of NASA’s technology development efforts in robotics and the agency’s contributions to the National Robotics Initiative (NRI). Dr. Gazarik will discuss Space Technology’s current robotics portfolio and R&D activities, including collaborative partnerships for current students and researchers, as well as future projects and opportunities.
Host: William (Red) L. Whittaker
Appointments: Stephanie Matvey
Dr. Michael Gazarik serves as Associate Administrator of the Space Technology Mission Directorate.
As Associate Administrator, he manages and executes the Space Technology programs, focusing on infusion into the Agency’s exploration and science mission needs, proving the capabilities needed by the greater aerospace community, and developing the Nation’s innovation economy.
Prior to this appointment, Gazarik was deputy chief technologist and director for space technology, focusing on enabling effective implementation of the Space Technology programs.
At NASA's Langley Research Center, Gazarik served as deputy director for programs in the Engineering Directorate. In this role, he balanced the engineering and fabrication capabilities across projects, from conceptual design to spaceflight operations; focused the directorate's resources to deliver flight hardware for numerous flight programs; and led the formulation of a variety of programs in aeronautics, exploration, and science.
Gazarik has over 25 years’ experience in the design, development, and deployment of spaceflight systems. He has contributed to the development of technology with application to NASA’s Exploration Systems, Space Operations and Science missions.
Prior to joining NASA, Gazarik served as project manager for the Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS) project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory. He also led the development of the Airborne Sounder Testbed-Interferometer, an instrument that helps scientists understand temperature and water vapor profiles of the Earth's atmosphere.
Gazarik also worked in the private sector on software and firmware development for commercial and government applications.
Gazarik earned a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1987.
He earned an M.S. in 1989 and a Ph.D. in 1997, both in electrical engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Gazarik has received numerous awards, including NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal and a Silver Snoopy Award, one of NASA’s highest honors.
He is married to Michele Gazarik and is a proud father of three.