NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center taps Auburn Engineering alumnus as director

Published: Nov 19, 2015 11:00:00 AM
Media Contact: Gail Riese, gail@auburn.edu, 334-844-3447

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Todd May

NASA has named Todd May as director of its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. A 1990 graduate of Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, May succeeds Patrick Scheuermann, who retired Nov. 13 after completing a 27-year career with the agency.

May was appointed Marshall’s deputy director in August and since 2011 served as manager of the Space Launch System. May guided the activities and workforce requirements to propel the program through a series of successful tests and design reviews. Upon completion, the SLS heavy launch vehicle will carry astronauts and equipment to destinations deeper into the solar system, including Mars.

During his more than 20-year NASA career, May has held several leadership positions. Most notably, May managed the agency's robotic lunar program. He was the deputy associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for the management of a $5 billion annual science portfolio of more than 100 space missions. He has also managed NASA’s Discovery and New Frontiers Program, which coordinates exploration of the solar system, including distant planets, comets, asteroids and deep space.  

A graduate of the materials engineering program, May was honored by the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering as the Distinguished Auburn Engineer in 2012 and also received its Outstanding Auburn Engineer Award in 2010. May was the recipient of NASA's Outstanding Leadership Medal and Exceptional Achievement Medal, as well as the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive. In 2014, he earned the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation’s Stellar Award in recognition of the SLS team’s many accomplishments.