NASA engineering leader Michael D. Watson to speak at Wright State on elegant engineering systems

Michael D. Watson

Michael D. Watson, who leads the National Aeronautics and Space Administration consortium responsible for developing an approach to systems engineering that produces elegant systems, will speak at Wright State University.

Watson, who works in NASA’s system engineering management office at the Marshall Space Flight Center, will speak between 12:20 and 1:15 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13, in room 154 of the Russ Engineering Center. His talk is free and open to the campus community.

Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on how to design and manage complex systems over their life cycles. There must be an understanding of application, the integration of physics or logic, the organizational structure, the information flow as well as policy and law. Elegant systems engineering systems are defined as robust, well structured, graceful and fully meeting intent.

Watson has served as the Space Launch System lead discipline engineer for operations engineering. He started his career with NASA developing capabilities of International Space Station operations.

Watson also worked to develop remote operations support capabilities for the Spacelab Program in the United States, Europe and Japan. He later served as chief of the Optics Branch responsible for the fabrication of large X-ray telescope mirrors, diffractive optics, and telescope systems.

In addition, he was chief of the Integrated Systems Health Management and Sensors Branch and led a NASA team defining vehicle management system capabilities for human missions to Mars.

Watson earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky and his master’s and Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Originally founded as a branch campus of The Ohio State University and Miami University, Wright State became an independent institution in 1967. It celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017.

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