Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Emperor of Huntsville

Our top story: UAH seeks ex-Chief Engineer of the Universe to misguide young minds and further the collapse of systems engineering education in this country. The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department is embarking on a 50% growth in full-time faculty positions, lecturers and support staff and will accept just about anybody to get to that goal. Tranquil setting near the Tennessee River. One-of-a-kind eminent chair in one of the top 150 third tier doctoral programs in the country. You won't find another job like this offered anywhere else outside of Sen. Shelby's district! Position opens in mid-May. Who knows, you might just decide to join them.

Salary: $350K/year.

Coming up in June: Kader Frendi looks for a new job.


Anonymous said...

Considering that UAH gets money from NASA due to its zip code alone, we should expect nothing but the least competent in engineering and the most competent in politics among its faculty. What is funny is that the folks that oppose socialism in general support in particular within their own state or congressional district.

Anonymous said...

Sort of makes me glad that I didn't get that job at UAH!

As for the system engineering, nobody does that stuff anymore!

Anonymous said...

man, are you a negative person.

So...you had a "better" idea (one that was totally unworkable politically, of course) three years ago and this idiot Griffin guy is going to go corrupt young minds and what not...obviously you must have more experience and degrees than Griffin, right? Your vision is good enough to cut through the politics, red tape, and small issues that bog down the top brass of the agency--then why aren't you administrator?

Get a life. Reality for NASA is not the way that it "should" be. This system was a compromise from the beginning, but the best one that could have been made at the time.

Griffin had his faults, but he was a nice change from angry people, or administrators who don't tell the whole truth for political reasons. I'm not a huge fan of Griffin's personal style, but hey--way better than Goldin. Lots better than O'Keefe, too.

Instead of being sarcastic and accusatory, why don't you come up with some good ideas about how NASA can use the hardware, assuming that Orion and Ares fly in 2015?

Or, since your a negative ass, 2018?

Anonymous said...

He can watch Ares 1 development up close. Some kind of Karma in that. Maybe teach a class or two on spacecraft design. The NASA mgt guys could sure use it.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anon, if you don't want to be informed and are in denial about how bad things are, then don't read the entries. I, for one, am glad that I am not alone in my assessment of how broke the program I am working on is.

Anonymous said...

Your vision is good enough to cut through the politics, red tape, and small issues that bog down the top brass of the agencyAs a matter of fact, it is. Do I have to supply a link, or have you just not been paying attention?

then why aren't you administrator?Because I say mean things about obvious idiots and their irrational thinking. I no longer suffer fools.

Anonymous said...

Anon had a good point, actually -- while it's good to hear about all the negative things, there's reporting negative things and then there's deriding all of the people involved.

Do you really think that the "Chief Engineer of the Universe" was doing less than the absolute best that he could do, given the circumstances?

Reporting the situation at hand helps those who are not in the know. Constant derision doesn't help anyone.

Anonymous said...

It is of no value to suggest alternatives to NASA management. They have their marching orders and it is their way or the highway.

If anyone read this weeks' GAO report on NASA, it was very clear that we have a huge mismatch between Ares 1 manned flight schedule and the ISS end of funding/life schedule. 2017 for first manned flight versus 2015 end of life equates to a rocket being designed with no mission in mind.

The finding was that the program was over $9B short each year of being able to attain its' purpose. You cannot throw enough money at it to close the five + year gap between end of need and availability of service.

That's not negative thoughts, vibes, waves or bad karma - it is just cold, hard, monetary fact!

Anonymous said...

When it is all said and done, much more is said than done.
Isn't that the essence of blogging? You don't ever have to do anything. You just criticize all that is done around you.

Anonymous said...

And then there are those of us who are trying to do, but can't. If you think RocketMan is being derisive, then you should hear the conversations my managment engages in when they are challenged by more competent employees and contractors.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about these derisive comments coming from senior NASA management.
I have yet to witness any such behavior in my 24 years in aerospace on either the contractor side or NASA. (That is just from my personal experiences. I cannot speak for all areas.)
But for crying out loud, folks, enought with hearsay, call them out. Bring it out in the open in the proper forum. Do not stand for it. Go to your chain of command ... go to your chief engineer. Put it on the table.

Anonymous said...

@11:51: Challenge them? Yeah, good luck with that.

24 years, huh? I'm guessing none of that was in manned space.

Anonymous said...

I did in fact have several talks with my management about what was going on. I even put forth the suggestion that we 'help' NASA get a grip on their requirements before we proceeded with design.

Where was the functional analyses? Oh, there were a couple of folks doing that then it went down to one and then none. Had nothing to show at PDR. So the program was moving forward, designing something whose behavior had not even been defined.

I marked those requirements with corrections. The response from the NASARites? Outright lies and fabrications during the review boards. Nobody asked why there were hundreds of comments outstanding on a document that they were trying to get approved and released.

When NASA had enough, our management dutifully followed their instructions and forbade me from every looking at or commenting upon another NASA specification.

Now, that is a fresh experience for one to contemplate from somebody who has over 30 years in aerospace. Just a note, none of it was to change from the stick design but to simply get the requirements in good shape so that we could see if the stick was the right solution.

So the 'price' for calling them out is rather high and it will not cause them to change their ways!!!

Anonymous said...

To stay somewhat with the thread. I wish Mr. Griffin good fortune where ever he ends up.

Anon 4/19, 10:38 pm.
20 yrs manned flight. 4 yrs EELV. Again, my experience was very positive. Very sharp, cooperative, dedicated people with best intent.

Anon 4/20, 7:30 pm.
Good points. Then, did you take it to your chief engineer or to your chief safety officer. There are 2 more paths to get your voice heard if chain of command does not work. BTW, was it CARD or SRD?