Auburn University Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Alumnus of the Year 2007

Published: Jan 12, 2007 3:11:40 PM
Media Contact: Cheryl Cobb,, 334.844.2220

Herbert ShiversHerbert Shivers, a 1975 graduate of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of Auburn University, is the deputy director of the Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Shivers is responsible for the safety, reliability and quality assurance of the full range of Marshall Center programs, projects and institutional services in support of mission goals, including space shuttle, space station, space exploration and Marshall facility safety and quality activities.

From May to October 2006, following a three-month headquarters assignment to the NASA Administrator's Exploration Safety Study team, Shivers served as assistant to the director of Marshall's Engineering Directorate. He led teams responsible for strategic engineering management issues such as assignment of work and distribution of workforce to appropriate organizations within the directorate, information technology management and technical and personnel analysis and recommendations.

In October 2004, Shivers was named manager of the Engineering Programs and Systems Office, providing the center with engineering policy management and systems engineering functions on numerous projects, including Marshall's Integrated Engineering Capabilities Project, the Technology Transfer Office and the Systems Engineering liaison with the NASA Chief Engineer. While in this position, Shivers was appointed by the NASA Chief Engineer to also be the NASA System Safety Engineering Technical Warrant Holder from March 2005 to July 2006, ensuring certain safety requirements on the space shuttle were met. Shivers served as deputy manager of the Engineering Systems Department from April 2003 to October 2004, assisting in overall management of the department. From July 2003 to March 2004, he helped establish and lead the restructuring of the Safety and Mission Assurance staff office into a directorate as its acting deputy.

From December 2000 to April 2003, Shivers was the deputy group lead in the Configuration and Data Management Group for the Engineering Systems Department. He led data management activities for the group, overseeing the establishment and review of policies and requirements implemented by Marshall's programs and projects.

Shivers managed the Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance Department in the Safety and Mission Assurance Office from June 1999 to December 2000. He provided industrial safety services, risk management training, advice and guidance on space shuttle and space station upgrades. From September 1994 to June 1999, he was director of the Payload Assurance Office, providing safety and mission assurance support to the Flight Projects Office and Microgravity Projects Offices at the Marshall Center. Shivers joined NASA in October 1988 as a system safety engineer in Marshall's Safety and Mission Assurance Office. Before joining NASA, Shivers was a supervisor and project manager for the Division of Occupational Health and Safety for the Tennessee Valley Authority in Muscle Shoals, Ala., from July 1984 to September 1988.

From October 1977 to July 1984, he was a TVA hazard control engineer in Chattanooga, Tenn., and in Muscle Shoals, performing industrial and systems safety engineering tasks, including health and industrial safety evaluations and serious accident investigations. Shivers was a civilian general engineer for the U.S. Army in Texarkana, Texas; Charlestown, Ind.; and Rock Island, Ill., from July 1975 to October 1977. He served in the National Guard from 1971 to 1977.

Shivers earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering in 1975 from Auburn University. In 1976, he earned a master's degree in industrial and safety engineering from Texas A&M University in Texarkana. Shivers earned a doctorate in industrial and systems engineering and engineering management in 1997 from the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Shivers has been honored with many awards during his NASA career, including the NASA Exceptional Service medal in 2003 recognizing significant, sustained performance characterized by unusual initiative or creativity. In 1993, he received a Marshall Center Director's Commendation for his contributions as system safety engineer to the Spacelab Glovebox in the first United States Microgravity Laboratory mission. The Glovebox project enables astronauts to handle, transfer, and otherwise manipulate materials in the weightless environment of space. Shivers served as president of the Alabama Society of Professional engineers from 1992 to 1993 and was named the society's Young Engineer of the Year in 1987, the Muscle Shoals chapter's Engineer of the Year in 1988, the Alabama Professional Engineer of the Year in Government in 1989 and the Huntsville chapter's Engineer of the Year in 1994. The System Safety Society named him manager of the year in 2004 at the group's international conference. He is also a member of several systems and engineering professional societies.

A native of Alexander City, Ala., Shivers and his wife, the former Alisa Walker of Alexander City who is also a 1975 Auburn alumnus, live in Huntsville. Both are life members of the Auburn University Alumni Association.