Faces of Physics speaker series to feature Bob Lutz of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

The Marshall University Society of Physics Students will present the last speaker in the 2020-21 Faces of Physics virtual speaker series in an online presentation planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0dakeA2ByU.

The presentation will feature Dr. Bob Lutz of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, whose discussion is titled “Two synergetic stories from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center that lead to mission success: Technical Excellence (The Flight Software Sustaining Engineering Task) and Support for Diversity and Inclusion (The GSFC Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee).”

It is free and open to all, and will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Lutz’s discussion will be centered around NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the role of GSFC within NASA. He’ll talk about the concept of flight software — what it is and will be,  followed by a definition of Flight Software Sustaining Engineering (FSSE).

Lutz also will discuss of the importance of diversity and inclusion at GSFC. This will be followed by the story of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee, results from its groundbreaking personnel climate survey and the impact this study has made at GSFC, to other NASA Centers and several federal agencies.

Lutz received a B.S. in meteorology and oceanography from New York University, an M.A. in meteorology and oceanography from City University of New York; and an M.S. in meteorology and a Ph.D. in geography (remote sensing) from the University of Maryland, College Park.

He has been employed at Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for over 39 years, first as a contractor and now as a civil servant in science and engineering roles, alternating between management and technical positions. Lutz has served as a section manger and associate branch head within GSFC, as well as technically contributing to the design of a field experiment measuring trace gases in the boreal forests of Canada. He also has been involved with the development of ground data systems for NASA research and NOAA operational weather satellites.  Lutz currently oversees the Flight Software Sustaining Engineering (FSSE) team as the civil servant manager, which supports over 16 earth and space science missions and employs almost 30 staff members.

Lutz also has been active in diversity and inclusion activities at GSFC, being a member of the Engineering Directorate D&I Committee for over 15 years and a founding member of the GSFC Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Advisory Committee (LGBTAC).

The Faces of Physics virtual speaker series is sponsored by the Marshall University Society of Physics Students and the American Institute of Physics to highlight outstanding research being done, especially by underrepresented groups in the world of physics. The organizers are SPS President Jackie Sizemore and SPS Vice President Ellie White. The series will continue in the fall 2021 semester. Visit www.marshall.edu/physics/society-physics-students for updates and more information.