Snead State Community College welcomes the Director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville as speaker for the 2018 graduation ceremony.
Todd May will address the graduates on Thursday, May 10 at 5 pm at the Plunkett Wallace Gym.
Appointed Director of the Marshall Space Flight Center in February 2016, Mr. May runs one of NASA's largest field facilities, with nearly 6,000 civil service employees and contractors in the same location, including those in the Michoud Montage Center of NASA in New Orleans, which is administered by the Marshall Center, and an annual budget of approximately $ 2.5 billion. It handles a broad spectrum of manned space flight development missions, science and technology that contribute to the nation's space program.
He was appointed deputy director of Marshall in August 2015 and served as acting director from November 2015 until he was appointed director. Prior to that, he was manager of the Space Launch System program since August 2011. SLS, now under development, is the most powerful rocket ever built, capable of transporting astronauts on NASA's Orion spacecraft on deep space missions, even to a asteroid and finally to Mars. The program is managed at Marshall, and Mr. May led SLS through a series of milestones, including a thorough review of the critical design.
From June 2008 to becoming manager of the SLS program, Mr. May was technical associate director of Marshall, where he was responsible for ensuring that all activities, processes and policies of the center are consistent with the Space Exploration Policy of the country.
He was deputy administrative director of the Directorate of Scientific Mission at NASA Headquarters in Washington from 2007-08, responsible for a $ 5 billion portfolio of robotic projects and projects, which includes more than 100 spacecraft in various stages of formulation, development and operations.
In 2006 at Marshall, he was associate program manager for the Constellation Program. At the same time, he also served as deputy director of the Marshall Science and Mission Systems Office, the organization responsible for all vehicle programs and projects that are not Marshall's launch. In 2004, he was manager of Discovery and New Frontiers Programs, which were created to explore the solar system with frequent unmanned spacecraft missions.
Mr. May achieved the successful integration, launch and commissioning of the Quest air lock of the International Space Station in 1998. He also joined the team that launched the Gravity Probe B mission to test Einstein's general theory of relativity.
In 1994, he was deputy program director of the Russian Integration Office for the International Space Station Program at NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston. The career of Mr. May's NASA began at Marshall in 1991 as an engineer in the Materials and Processes Laboratory.
Born in Fairhope, he earned a bachelor's degree in materials engineering from Auburn University in 1990. His numerous awards include the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Meritorious Rank Presidential Award, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal and the Award John W. Hager for professionalism in materials engineering. He has been named Distinguished Engineer by his alma mater, the University of Auburn. In 2014, he received the Award of Excellence from the Aviation Week Program, as well as the Stellar Award from the Rotary National Foundation for Space Achievement in recognition of the many achievements of the SLS team.
Mr. May and his wife, Kelly, have four children and live in Huntsville.