Thomas S. Taylor
Thomas Taylor is the Programs Manager for the Pennsylvania State University's (PSU) Center for Space Research Programs (CSRP), Project Manager and Alternate Mission Director for the PSU involvement on the NASA SWIFT gamma-ray mission, and a research engineer within the Complex Systems Engineering Group of the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at PSU.
CSRP is a university sponsored center providing the catalyst for the conceptualization, formulation, and implementation of advanced space research missions and their enabling technologies. The NASA SWIFT mission launched 20 November 2004 addresses the Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) mystery and the use of GRBs as a unique probe into our universe and into the physics of matter and energy. PSU was responsible for the development and fabrication of space flight hardware for two of the three on-board instruments and currently manages the satellite mission operations control center located at PSU. The Complex Systems Engineering Division at ARL focuses on enabling space missions through advanced technologies, such as cooperative autonomous systems and complex systems monitoring technologies.
Over the past 27 years Mr. Taylor has served in a variety of positions in academia, private industry and the federal government. This included software and database development, engineering, engineering management, management of scientific instrument design & development, mission operations, and project and program management.
During the 1970s, Mr. Taylor was involved in manned and unmanned launch vehicles at KSC. As an engineer on the Centaur upper stage he supported the Voyager mission, launched on the Titan/Centaur, and various Atlas/Centaur launches of communication satellites. Also, he worked on the Shuttle project team developing NASA-unique programming languages for Shuttle launch systems, the main shuttle database, and the Cargo Integration Test Environment. At GSFC he provided mainframe systems programming in support of the NASA ground communications system. He spent 6 years in private industry working in engineering and software development roles primarily related to the US intelligence community and the communications industry.
After returning to the GSFC in 1988, Mr. Taylor managed the development of space hardware built for several scientific instruments at various universities, corporations, US government agencies, and international organizations. This included development of instruments built for the detection of gamma ray; x-ray; ultraviolet; microwave; infrared; and energetic particles. These instruments included significant involvement of countries such as Russia, England, Japan, Italy, Germany and Holland. He was Chief of the Project Formulation Office, including the Access-To-Space Branch. The office developed advanced mission concepts and formulated new projects at GSFC for the NASA Enterprises, including Earth Science, Space Science, and Human Exploration. He was the Program Manager of NASAís Digital Earth Office at the GSFC. This program addressed the Vice-Presidentís national Digital Earth Initiative and involved multiple organizations (federal, state and local governments, academia, industry, media, and international). The program was based on the increasing need for easy access to the vast amounts of Earth referenced information.
Currently, through CSRP, he facilitates the formulation of new projects at Penn State in Earth science, space science, space exploration, energy applications, and advanced technology development through partnerships across the university and externally with industry, academia, and the government at a national and international level.
He obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Physics from the Mansfield University at Pennsylvania in 1974, and a Master's Degree in Technical Management from the Johns Hopkins University at Maryland in 1991. He is a current member of IEEE and AAS. He's a strong advocate for developing space oriented technical skills and technical management skills, especially at the K–12 level and within the local business community.