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April 30, 2009 Vol. 2 Issue 4


The Academy featured Acting Administrator Chris Scolese and NASA Chief Engineer Mike Ryschkewitsch in its first “Masters with Masters” session.

“Masters with Masters” is a series that brings together two master practitioners to reflect on their experiences, lessons learned, and thoughts about upcoming challenges. In its kickoff event, Academy Director Dr. Ed Hoffman moderated a discussion between Scolese and Ryschkewitsch in the NASA Auditorium on April 24, 2009 before a live audience that included members of the NASA First program. The session was taped by NASA TV and will be released as a web-based video on the Academy’s website and the NASA Engineering Network.

The conversation ranged over themes including formative career experiences, lessons learned from successes and failures, the relationship between a project manager and a chief engineer, and advice to young project managers and systems engineers. Speaking about the need for strong systems thinking across NASA, Scolese emphasized that it was not the sole responsibility of an individual with a certain job title. “All of us have to be the systems engineer,” he said.

Scolese and Ryschkewitsch also compared notes on what each had learned from participating in mishap investigations. “The most important thing you learn is that you’re not as good as you think you are,” said Ryschkewitsch.

The Academy has developed “Masters with Masters” as part of its ongoing efforts to create a cohesive community of project management and engineering practitioners across NASA. This series will engage master practitioners in conversations that yield fresh insights and promote reflection and open sharing.

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