Lockheed Martin - Tom Kelly - Engineering Integration Manager

NASA’s Space Alliance Technology Outreach Program (SATOP) has gained another talented engineer that will devote his time and talents to the program – Tom J. Kelly of Lockheed Martin Space Operations at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

Kelly enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1979 and had assignments as an air traffic controller in Germany and North Carolina. After earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina, Kelly went on to the University of Tennessee Space Institute, earning a master’s degree in industrial engineering.

Kelly retired from the Air Force in 1996 and within two years became the Chief Engineer for the Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC) at Kennedy Space Center. As CSOC work at KSC began to grow in 2001, Kelly joined Lockheed Martin Space Operations as the Engineering Integration Manager.

As Integration Manager, Kelly is responsible for integrating and sustaining engineering requirements and solutions among the different communications systems and networks at KSC. He also continues to monitor development efforts performed by CSOC at KSC.

Although Lockheed Martin Space Operations at KSC keeps Kelly busy with many engineering assignments, he still finds time to assist other businesses with their technical problems as a Space Alliance engineer for SATOP. He is looking forward to working on a Request for Technical Assistance (RTA) from a nutrition company that has contacted SATOP with questions about the astronauts’ special diets.

“The thing that I enjoy most about SATOP is the opportunity to provide assistance to businesses that don’t have the resources themselves,” he says. It is no wonder why Kelly got involved with SATOP when he says his biggest pet peeve is tasks that don’t provide additional value to the quality of life. “People should work towards something that is going to enrich the world,” he adds.

Engineers like Tom Kelly make SATOP the beneficial program that it is. They bring to the program a generosity of the sharing of knowledge and a desire to help others with their technical expertise. Alliance Partner engineers are important components of SATOP that allow private citizens and businesses to benefit from the investment they have made, and continue to make, In the U.S. Space Program.

One on One with Tom Kelly, Engineering Integration
Manager at Lockheed Martin Space Operations and SATOP volunteer:

First job: Bartender in an upscale restaurant in Wilkes-Barre, PA

What job he would have had if not an engineer: “I would have stayed in air traffic control, I enjoyed it very much.”

Most admired historical figure: “George Washington. I did a profile on his leadership abilities in Air Force Officer Training School.”

Engineering project he wished he could have worked on: “The pyramids – they are a marvel of engineering and effort and they’re still there today.”

When he isn’t in the office: Enjoys wood-working, mostly cabinets, and restoring antiques.

Personal accomplishment he is most proud of: Becoming an engineer and working at KSC. “I can remember hearing about the Apollo Missions when I was a little kid, and now today I am a part of where all that took place.”