NASA Deputy Assoc. Administrator, Mr. Dan Dumbacher to join the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Event Date: April 30, 2014
Mr. Dan Dumbacher, Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, will join Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics on August 1, 2014 as a Professor of Practice

The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics is honored to welcome Mr. Dan Dumbacher, Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, on August 1, 2014 as a Professor of Practice.  

Mr. Dumbacher will teach courses in systems and systems of systems. He will also work with Professor Abhijit Deshmukh, Professor Bill Crossley, and other leaders in our College of Engineering in the systems area to develop the Purdue Systems Initiative.  

A short bio of Mr. Dumbacher follows:

Daniel (Dan) L. Dumbacher is the Deputy Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Development Division, for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters.   In that capacity, he provides leadership and management for the directorate with a special focus as the Program Director for Exploration Systems Development encompassing Space Launch System, Orion, and Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) development and integration efforts. A team of over 5000 people across all NASA Centers and Industry.

Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Dumbacher served as the Director of the Engineering Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. Appointed to the position in May 2007, Mr. Dumbacher led an organization of 1,400 civil service and 1,200 support contractor employees. Under his leadership, the Engineering Directorate supported the Space Shuttle propulsion elements, design and development of the Ares launch vehicles,  operation of NASA’s Payload Operations Center—the command post for scientific research activities on board the International Space Station, and supported all Marshall Space Flight Center International Space Station and Science missions.

Previously, Mr. Dumbacher was Deputy Director of the Ares Projects Office and, prior to that, was Deputy Director for Product Assurance in the Safety and Mission Assurance Office, focusing on Space Shuttle return-to-flight efforts. Other assignments included Manager of the

X-37 Flight Demonstrator, Deputy Manager of the Space Launch Initiative Program, and Program Manager of the Second Generation Reusable Launch Vehicle Program.  Before that, he was Deputy Manager of the X-33 Flight Vehicle Program and Manager of the Delta Clipper-Experimental Advanced Flight Vehicle Project. He also served as Assistant Manger of the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project and Manager of the Technology Test Bed Project, overseeing hot-fire testing of large liquid propulsion engines.

 Mr. Dumbacher joined NASA in 1979. During his career, he has received numerous awards and honors. In 2007, he was awarded the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives — the highest honor for career federal employees. In 2003, he received the Outstanding Mechanical Engineer award from Purdue University. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2002 for exceptional accomplishments related to NASA’s Space Launch Initiative Program, and in 1997 for his work on the DC-XA Project. In 1996, he was honored with a Marshall Director’s Commendation for accomplishing two flight tests within 26 hours in the DC-XA Project flight test series.

 Mr. Dumbacher earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Purdue University in1981 and a master’s in business administration from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1984. He has completed the Senior Managers in Government study program at Harvard University. Mr. Dumbacher has authored several papers on liquid propulsion technologies, space transportation systems development, and systems engineering.

He is married to Lee R. Dumbacher. They have three grown children, Erin a graduate in International Affairs from George Washington University residing in Washington, D.C., Dana, an English / Political Science graduate of Marquette University,  residing in Madison, WI, and Brad, a Political Economy graduate at Marquette University, also a member of the Marquette University basketball staff, planning to attend law school in the fall of 2014.

We look forward to Mr. Dumbacher’s vast experience and expertise in enhancing the education of our students in the systems area, and to welcome him to our school.