Advisory Board

George Abbey, Jr.

George W. S. Abbey, Jr. is President and CEO of Strategic Space Services, LLC. Previously, he was Vice Consul, Advanced Engineering - Aerospace & Homeland Security at British Consulate-General Houston and Specialist for Global Security & Technology Protection (S&TP) at United Space Alliance, LLC (USA). Much of his career has been in and around the space program, as Manager, Small Business Liaison Office at Lockheed Martin Space Operations (LMSO), Small Business Administrator at United Space Alliance, LLC (USA) and Small Business Administrator at Rockwell Space Operations Company. In years past he's been an Aerospace Marketing Representative, Measurements Standard Planner, Buyer at Grumman Houston Corporation (GHC) International Purchasing Expeditor at Boart Longyear. He's a local graduate of the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Technology Consumer Science, Merchandising, Logistics Technology.

William (Bill) Atwell

Bill Atwell is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of radiation physics with 40+ years of experience in the areas of the space radiation environments, high-energy particle transport through materials, active & passive dosimetry, spacecraft, satellite, and anatomical modeling/shielding analyses, radiation detection instrumentation, biological and physical effects, and related data analyses.

He is one of the original members of the NASA JSC Space Radiation Analysis Group. For the last several years, his interests and support activities have been in space radiation research supporting the NASA JSC Medical Sciences, Space & Life Sciences, and Engineering Directorate; NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; NASA Langley Research Center; and the European Space Agency (ESA)/German Space Agency. Bill has authored more than 250 technical and scientific publications. He has been a science advisor/mentor for MS/PhD students at U. of Maryland, U. of Virginia, Colorado State U., USC, and Texas A&M.

Bill received a BS in Physics/Math (English minor), and an MS in Physics/Math from Indiana State University, and was a Ph.D. candidate, Nuclear Engineering, University of Florida. He is the recipient of the Astronaut's Silver Snoopy Award, and numerous NASA, NATO, AIAA, and SAE/Aerospace awards and commendations.

Craig Eckberg

Craig Eckberg's responsibilities include integrating relevant environmental considerations into the planning, construction and operation of NRG Energy's electric generating assets, as well as providing technical and regulatory support for compliance with federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations.

Craig's experience includes state and federal air quality permitting, implementing and managing air quality compliance programs and systems, air toxics research, emissions control technology research and development, and development of ambient air quality monitoring programs. He participates in asset evaluation for acquisition activities and provides support for corporate strategy development. Additionally, Craig provides technical analysis of local, state and federal proposed regulations, including the associated impacts on the company's portfolio of generating assets.

Craig has a business degree from Sam Houston State University and a master of science degree from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Glenn Lee Ellis

As part of his admiration for science and the space program, Glenn Ellis pursued and received a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy from Louisiana State University in 1982. After graduation, he settled in Houston and began working for Lockheed Martin until 2004. His responsibilities began with Space Shuttle GN&C studies and later evolved to International Space Station engineering and development trade studies. He received steady promotions from entry level engineer to engineering supervisor to business development manager.

In 2004, Glenn joined the Futron Corporation as Director where he provided leadership and program management for the company's Houston division. In 2005 he became Deputy Director for Jacobs Engineering's Scientific, Engineering and Analytical Support Department for the Engineering and Sciences Contract at the Johnson Space Center. For the past three years he has served as the company's Director of the Science Applications, Research and Development Department where he manages an $18M budget and leads a diverse organization of 140 scientists, engineers, computer professionals and analysts providing basic scientific, research and analysis products for astromaterials research and curation, image analysis, orbital debris studies, hypervelocity impact technology, crew earth observation, education and outreach and advanced science exploration planning for analogs of the moon and Mars.

Daniel H. Garrison

Dan currently serves as Chief Scientist and Deputy Director for the Science Applications, Research and Development Department within the Engineering and Science Contract Group at NASA/Johnson Space Center. His department has a staff of 140 scientists and engineers that provide basic research and analytical services to the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Directorate at JSC. In addition to the astromaterials research group, the department curates all extraterrestrial materials for NASA, provides Orbital Debris environment models, provides spacecraft risk assessments for on-orbit hyper-velocity impacts, and provides comprehensive image analysis and photogrammetric services for all human spaceflight activities. As a NASA research organization, numerous under-graduate, graduate, and post- doctoral positions are provided throughout the year. Educational programs, curriculum, and public outreach events are also provided. The department develops and submits over thirty NASA grant proposals per year.

Dan has actively participated in peer-review, grant based planetary research for twenty five years in the field of noble gas mass-spectrometry and chronology of lunar and meteorite samples and co-authored over forty publications. Dan also serves as Chief Scientist for Barrios Technology, Inc

Tim Glover

While earning a bachelor's degree in physics (New Mexico State), and master's degrees in aerospace engineering (UT-Austin) and physics (Pittsburg), Tim Glover was involved in research ranging from experimental nuclear physics to the effects of transient ocean features on the determination of satellite orbits. After completing his M.S. in physics, he taught general and intensive physics at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School, a private college preparatory school in New York City. In teaching at this level, he emphasized hands-on experimental work, and received training in the laboratory portions of the PSSC Physics curriculum from two of its founders, Uri Haber-Schaim and John Dodge.

After five years of full-time teaching, he entered the Ph.D. program in Space Physics and Astronomy at Rice University. During this time, he published research in astrophysical spectroscopy using the Hubble Space Telescope, then switched his research focus to laboratory plasma physics at the NASA Johnson Space Center. His Ph.D thesis was based on the use of electrostatic probes to make the first unambiguous measurements of the exhaust velocity of an early prototype of the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR).

After graduating from Rice, Dr. Glover continued his work on the VASIMR technology as a research scientist at the NASA JSC Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory. Here, he designed and built additional plasma diagnostics, and presented research papers at a number of conferences. For the past five years, he has served as Director of Development for Ad Astra Rocket Company, participating in the day-to-day management of the company as it transitioned from a NASA laboratory to an independent engineering company.

Stephen Mackwell

Dr. Mackwell received a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics (1978) and M.Sc. in Physics (1979) from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences (1985) from the Australian National University. He worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Cornell University in New York from 1984 to 1987, and then moved to the Pennsylvania State University as an Assistant Professor (1987) and subsequently Associate Professor (1992) of Geosciences. In 1998, Dr. Mackwell became a Full Professor at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in the University of Bayreuth, Germany, taking over as Director in 2000. He returned to the United States in 2002, as Director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. He was Program Director for Geophysics in the Earth Sciences Division at the National Science Foundation in 1993-4, and spent 1996 as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Bayerisches Geoinstitut in Bayreuth, Germany. He is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth Science at Rice University.

As Director of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, a division of the Universities Space Research Association, Dr. Mackwell is at the helm of an organization that was established by NASA during the Apollo era to perform cutting edge planetary research, foster international collaboration and to act as a repository for lunar and planetary information gathered during the early years of the space program. The current LPI consists of around 65 staff and performs many roles in service to NASA, the planetary science community, and the public at large.

Dr. Mackwell is an internationally recognized researcher in geophysics, specializing in laboratory-based studies of the physical, chemical and mechanical properties of geological materials. He is also interested in the transport of fluid components in mantle and crustal rocks on the microscopic and macroscopic scales, and on the effects of such components on mechanical properties. He has authored or co-authored over 60 articles in international scientific journals. He has been honored by election as a 2010 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and a 1996 Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, as well as a Fellowship recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany in 1996.

Dr. Mackwell has served as editor and editor-in-chief of Geophysical Research Letters, and associate editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research. He has served on the editorial boards for Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors, Physics and Chemistry of Minerals, and Tectonophysics. He is currently on the Advisory Committee for the Winchell School of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota, and has served on numerous committees and advisory groups with the American Geophysical Union, the Geological Society of America, and the International Association for Seismology and Physics of the Earth's Interior. He has served on numerous funding panels and advisory panels for NASA, the Department of Energy, the German Science Foundation (DFG), the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and the German Academic Exchange Service. He has served on the National Academy of Sciences NRC Committee to Review New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration, on the NRC Committee to Review Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies, and currently serves on the NRC Planetary Science Decadal Survey Committee.

Lawrence Steven Pinsky

Professor Pinsky is currently the Chairperson of the Physics Department at the University of Houston, he and also holds an appointment as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Houston Law Center where he is a member of the Intellectual Property and Information Law Institute. He obtained his B.S. in Physics from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1968 and followed that with his graduate work in Cosmic Ray Astrophysics at the University of Rochester. During his graduate career, he simultaneously served in the United States Army completing his degree while stationed at NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston during the Apollo Program. He was responsible in part for the heavy ion dosimetry during the lunar missions and was in Mission Control during Apollo 13. In addition to his Ph.D. thesis research in ultra-heavy cosmic rays, he was a co-investigator on the Apollo Light Flash Experiment to identify the source of visual light flashes observed by the astronauts. After obtaining his doctoral degree in 1973 and completing his service in the Army, he accepted a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Houston. In 1975 he accepted a tenure-track appointment as an Assistant Professor of Physics at the University of Houston, and received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in 1981, followed by promotion to Professor in 1989. He was appointed as chairperson of the department in 1994. He entered law school part-time in 1993, completing his J.D. degree and passing the Texas Bar Exam in 1997. He subsequently passed the U.S.P.T.O. Patent Bar Exam and obtained an LL.M. in Intellectual Property and Information Law. Professor Pinsky also holds certificates as Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor with Multi-Engine and 140 Instrument ratings.

Professor Pinsky's current research interests include Relativistic Heavy Ion Physics, for which he has grant support from the USDOE. He was a member of the NA49 Collaboration at CERN, and is currently a member of the ALICE Collaboration at the LHC at CERN. He also has NASA funding to develop Monte Carlo transport codes for use in simulating the spacecraft shielding in the space radiation environment. In addition, he is a member of the Medipix2 Collaboration, based at CERN, with an interest in developing an active pixel-based dosimeter for use by astronauts in space radiation situations. He has worked on the Mars Odyssey (MARIE) Radiation Environment Experiment, and on accelerator based experiments at the AGS at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, at SLAC, at the ZGS at the Argonne National Laboratory, and at the HIMAC facility at the National Institute for Radiological Sciences in Chiba, Japan, in addition to CERN. He also collaborates with colleagues at proton and heavy ion cancer therapy facilities on techniques to prepare treatment plans with real-time Monte Carlo simulations and PET monitoring as well as characterizing the beams with the Medipix2 technology. Professor Pinsky is a member of the LHC Grid Deployment Board and serves on the Executive Committee of the Texas Learning and Computation Center (for high performance computing).

Professor Pinsky has mentored 6 Ph.D. students and served on dozens of other Ph.D. thesis committees. He has served as the Chair of the University of Houston's Radiation Safety Committee, and on the Athletic Advisory, Intellectual Property, Publications, and College Government Committees. His total sponsored research funding as Principal or Co-Principal Investigator exceeds $11 Million. He has >140 Refereed Publications and gives an average of 6-8 invited talks per year including in both physics and law. He has received numerous awards for teaching and academic achievement.

Jared P. Squire

Jared Squire began university study at California State University Stanislaus, where he earned a B.S. in Physics in 1984. He then started graduate study in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He began experimental research with fusion energy technology on the Alcator C tokamak and completed graduate study with the Versator II tokamak at MIT. On completion in 1993 of his Ph.D. in physics, he began a DOE postdoctoral fellowship with the DIII-D tokamak at General Atomics.

After his work at DIII-D, Dr. Squire came to the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in with Yang Technologies to help establish the Advanced Space Propulsion Laboratory. There he worked to set in place the vacuum, electromagnet and RF power infrastructure to perform the very early research leading to the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR) engine technology. In 1999, Dr. Squire became senior research scientist with MEI Technologies as the prime JSC contractor in an enhanced effort for the development of the VASIMR technology. In this effort, he was a key team member in demonstrating the VASIMR plasma propulsion physics processes in a laboratory system.

With the research success, Dr. Squire became one of the founders of the Ad Astra Rocket Company in 2005 where the VASIMR technology development was privatized. He has continued as the Director of Research and helped established Ad Astra's new laboratory near the JSC in Webster, TX. There he continues the commercial development effort to bring the new rocket technology to spaceflight, in a close relationship with NASA.

Andrew B. Vavrin

Andrew Vavrin is a research scientist in NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office (ODPO) under the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) branch at Johnson Space Center. He is responsible for maintaining and running computer models that simulate current and long-term space debris environments resulting from upper stage explosions and/or future breakup events. He has developed visualization tools to aid in the verification and validation of the Orbital Debris Environment Model (ORDEM), a software tool used for assessing debris impact risks to spacecraft. He previously served as the Payload & General Support Computer (PGSC) Flight Integration Lead during the STS-132 mission, supported hardware and software tests of the IMAX camera flight hardware for the STS-125 mission, and coordinated operating system updates and data reconfiguration software releases on desktop platforms used by flight controllers and group administrators in the Mission Control Center (MCC).

Mr. Vavrin entered the UHCL Graduate Physics Program and earned a M.Sc. in Physics (2009). His research emphasis focused on the role of spectral methods in complex numerical simulations. During his graduate studies, he developed an end-to-end trajectory for an interplanetary mission to the outer planets with multiple gravity assists.

Andrew received a B.Sc. in Computer Science (2003) at UHCL. His experience includes 16+ years of computer programming and 10+ years in software development, integration, and testing. He has designed graphical user interfaces, validated complex mathematical models, and implemented software changes while maintaining safety awareness.

Holly A. Feldman Vavrin

Holly Vavrin is a Commercial Visiting Vehicle Flight Lead for the International Space Station (ISS) Program Office at Johnson Space Center. She is responsible for ensuring interface requirements, verification, safety, and operations philosophies are coordinated between NASA and the commercial companies providing cargo services to the ISS. Ms. Vavrin has real-time operations experience from her time in the Mechanisms and Maintenance Systems Group, where she taught astronauts and flight controllers about the various docking mechanism and hardware repair techniques used aboard the ISS. She also has experience as a Strategic Analysis & Planning Engineer, where she scheduled vehicle traffic and developed proposals regarding the physical configuration of the ISS.

Ms. Vavrin earned an M.S. in Physics with an emphasis in Technical Management from the University of Houston - Clear Lake in 2010. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering in 2006 from Texas A&M University. Her undergraduate team designed, fabricated, and launched a 7-foot hybrid rocket, and she also participated in research involving Shape Memory Alloys and Artificial Intelligence applications for space systems. While employed by the Spacecraft Technology Center, Holly helped develop a dual field-of-view star tracker for use in future satellites.

In 2015, Holly was awarded NASA's Early Career Achievement Medal, and in 2010, she was recognized with the JSC Director's Commendation Award for her strategy to pre-position external spare parts in preparation for Shuttle retirement.

Harold G. White

Dr. White holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Rice University, a Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Wichita State University, and a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from University of South Alabama. Dr White has accumulated well over a decade of experience working in the aerospace industry with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and NASA. He currently serves as the VASIMR Engineering Integration Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate. In this role, Dr. White is serving to help the joint NASA-commercial team to advance the current state of the art in high power electric propulsion as it pertains to human spaceflight exploration. He has been recognized many times over the span of his career for his excellent work ethic, exceptional technical skills, abilities as a project manager, and dedication to the pursuit of human space flight.

While serving as the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System Manager during Return to Flight, he was awarded the NASA Medal For Excellence in Achievement by the Administrator for his role in getting the Thermal Protection System robotic inspection tools built, delivered and certified to support the STS-114 mission. He was recognized by the crew office with a Silver Snoopy Award for his unwavering commitment to safety and mission success demonstrated by his actions in the discovery and disposition of critical damage to the robotic arm prior to the STS-121 mission. He has also received the Spaceflight Awareness Honoree award for the STS-122 mission, one of the highest, most prestigious awards available to employees of NASA. Dr. White's commitment to spaceflight exploration does not stop with his vocation, as he is also a recognized expert and advocate of advanced propulsion research. Over the past 15 years, Dr. White has worked with members of academia and industry to further grow this area of research resulting in many published papers, presentations, development and study of physics models, engineering tools, and the implementation and execution of multiple high fidelity experimental efforts.