Innovator Spotlight

Researchers at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center are developing cutting-edge technologies to make aircraft and spacecraft safer. Their innovations in advanced aeronautics, space operations, engineering, and software for NASA also have potential applications here on Earth.

Ricardo Arteaga
Ricardo Arteaga, Research Engineer, Research and Design Branch
"We're having a drone revolution right now. It's like when the Internet began. We're defining the protocol and the standards and the architecture. But instead of sending packets of information, we’re dealing with aircraft."
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Joel Ellsworth
Joel Ellsworth, Aerospace Engineer, Aerodynamics Branch
"Do the hard tasks. Take the unusual assignments. Always look for ways to challenge yourself. If you only do what you’re comfortable with, you never grow."
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William Ko
Dr. William Ko
Scientist. Mathematician. Inventor. Taiwanese-American. Watercolor Artist. Nonagenarian. All of these words describe Dr. William Ko, who this year is celebrating his 90th birthday and 40 years with NASA.
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Allen Parker
Allen Parker, Research Engineer, Embedded Systems and Sensor Research & Development Group
"I've been interested in science and electronics since I was about 12 years old. My mom and dad saw this in me as I was growing up—that I enjoyed science and engineering—and so my mom would always say, ‘My son is going to be an engineer for NASA.'"
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Frank Peña
Frank Peña, Aerospace Engineer, Aerostructures Branch
"NASA technologies should go out to the public and broader industry."
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Anthony (Nino) Piazza
Anthony (Nino) Piazza
Instrumentation Specialist, Aerostructures Branch. "The main focus of my work has been acquiring strain and other structural measurements in harsh environments particularly high temperatures or cryogens."
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Michael Ritchson
Michael Ritchson, Data Management Solutions Developer
"Working at IBM really helped me to better understand how software is developed and maintained in the commercial industry. This was great experience for me to bring back to NASA, when I returned to write new software solutions for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program."
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Kurt Sanner
Kurt Sanner, Electrical Engineer, Sensors and System Development Branch
"I looked to see what was already on the market, and I found some but I couldn't get anything at a reasonable price. Plus, what was out there could hold only one antenna at a time. We needed an affordable platform that could support lots of antennas. So I decided to build my own."
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Spotlighting Engineering Interns

Kyle Barnes
Kyle Barnes, FOSS, Mentored by Allen Parker
" a huge influence in the community. I wanted to be a part of that."
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Tori Hawkins
Tori Hawkins, PRANDTL, Mentored by Al Bowers
"Any day you get to fly is always the best day."
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Deborah Jackson
Deborah Jackson, PRANDTL, Mentored by Al Bowers
"I was at the final launch of Discovery in Florida. As soon as I saw the shuttle go up, I knew that’s how I was going to pursue the stars."
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Kasai Omar
Kasai Omar, FOSS, Mentored by Allen Parker
"My goal for myself was to join a team before I graduate that would give me the chance to be thoroughly challenged by not just the project, but also the people."
Read more about Kasai Omar