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Masters with Masters: Project Leadership and Risk Management

Project leadership and risk management coincide in the latest editions of Masters with Masters.

On Wednesday, January 20, 2016, Dr. Ed Hoffman, NASA Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO), will interview four practitioners at Glenn Research Center (GRC) within the Center’s Human Research Program (HRP). HRP identifies human health and performance risks associated with long duration exploration missions and develops research-driven technology to mitigate those risks.

Beginning at 9:30 am, Hoffman will interview Gail Perusek, Project Manager for Advanced Exercise Concepts, and Marsha Nall, Manager of the Human Research Program. The second Masters with Masters in the “double header” will begin at 10:45 am, with Hoffman interviewing Sam Hussey, Project Manager and Electrical Engineer, and DeVon Griffin, Project Manager of the Integrated Medical Model and Digital Astronaut project.

These four project and program leaders will share their insights of infusing lessons learned and leading practices into research and technology processes to help mitigate risk in highly interdisciplinary bioengineering programs. These leaders will share their experiences leading teams through the design, development, integration, and operations of major projects and programs central to NASA. With the NASA-GRC’s focus on developing research, technology, and modeling, HRP leads the human health risk management efforts, ensuring that knowledge gained from the past be used to forecast and manage the likelihood of risks in the future.

Masters with Masters 1 – Leadership lessons learned in Human Research Program (HRP) with Gail Perusek and Marsha Nall, Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 9:30 am – 10:30 am


Gail Perusek is currently assigned to the International Space Station (ISS) and Human Health Project Office at GRC. She currently serves as Project Manager for Advanced Exercise Concepts (AEC) development within HRP. Prior to her current assignment, she served as Manager of the Structural Dynamics Laboratory at GRC, to deliver critical path ISS payload verification vibration testing, analysis, flight certification for flight readiness, Safety and Mission Assurance, and as Lead Project Engineer for aeronautics and aero-propulsion research and technology development including the Joint Strike Fighter, Advanced Subsonic Noise Reduction, and High Speed Research.

Marsha Nall currently serves as Manager of the Human Research Program at GRC and is responsible for implementation of an interdisciplinary bioengineering program. Nall has been instrumental in establishing a role for GRC in the area of bioscience and human health over the past ten years, both for the Agency and in collaboration with the local and regional biomedical community. She serves as GRC’s programmatic representative to NASA’s Human Research Program managed at the Johnson Space Center and performs a collateral duty as the GRC Ombudsman.

Masters with Masters 2 – Leadership lessons learned in Human Research Program (HRP) with Sam Hussey and DeVon Griffin, Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 10:45 am – 11:45 am


Sam Hussey worked in industry designing power conditioning equipment such as uninterruptable power supplies and motor controllers which resulted in a number of patents. Hussey joined NASA-GRC to work the electrical power system for the International Space Station (ISS) as the Contracting Officer (COTR) for the DC to DC Converter Unit (DDCU). He has supported the CoNNeCT project, a software defined radio experimental test bed for ISS. Currently, he is managing a number of HRP hardware related projects.

DeVon Griffin has designed optical instrumentation for both microgravity combustion and fluid physics. He has been a project manager supporting GRC’s HRP since 2005. In that role, he managed IVGEN, which produced 0.9% normal saline for injection from in situ resources on ISS. He also initiated the reusable lab on a chip program that developed the rHEALTH device, which won the 2014 Nokia Sensing X-Prize. He currently manages both the Integrated Medical Model, which quantifies human risk on exploration missions, and the Digital Astronaut project, which quantifies changes in physiology due to microgravity.

Masters with Masters video interviews offer fresh insights, promote reflection and open sharing, and serve as a learning resource for NASA’s technical workforce. Masters with Masters demonstrate the Academy’s ongoing efforts to cultivate, across the Agency, a cohesive community of project and program management and engineering practitioners who value and promote the free exchange of knowledge, lessons learned, and leading practices.

To attend these Masters with Masters events live, please contact Kathy Clark. These events will be made available with other captured Masters with Masters on APPEL’s YouTube Channel.

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