Thai Pham is the Technology Development Manager for the PCOS/COR Program Office. He started his career at Goddard in 1985 as a cooperative student in the Materials Engineering Branch. After graduating from the University of Maryland, he worked in the Mechanical Engineering Branch supporting the Extreme UltraViolet Explorer (EUVE) then the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) projects from design, build, test, and launch. He went on to work on the X-ray spectrometer detector system for Astro-E as the Project Engineer supporting the implementation phase up to launch site delivery. In 1998 he joined the Hubble team as the Instrument Manager for the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). In 2005 Thai served as the Deputy Project Manager for the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite for the JPL Mars Science Laboratory (MSL). He went on to manage a thermal loop heat pipe technology demonstration project for the Space Technology 8 mission of the New Millennium Program. Thai led the development of the cryogenic Optical Telescope Element Simulator (OSIM) for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In 2009, Thai served as Head of the Instrument Systems Branch, which provides management and technical leadership for Goddard’s in-house science instrument development before serving in his current position.
Thai received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Maryland. Outside of work Thai and his wife Karen, who also works at Goddard, attempt to manage their three teenage children. Thai enjoys scuba diving, saltwater aquarium, stunt kiting, remote control helicopters, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Stephanie began her career at NASA working for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) as a Project Support Specialist. During her three years on JWST, Stephanie provided administrative support including travel and meeting coordination to her customers. On occasion, she would volunteer for various outreach events both at Goddard Space Flight Center and off site. Stephanie realized that her true passion was working with the public and supporting these outreach events. She recently transitioned to support the Astrophysics Projects Division and the Hubble Space Telescope in doing just that. Currently, Stephanie helps to plan various conferences throughout the year, coordinate and attend outreach events, as well as design and produce outreach materials for the public.
Vanessa Thomas is a science writer for the Astrophysics Projects Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Vanessa studied science journalism and planetary science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, earning a bachelor’s degree in humanities and science. Before joining the team at Goddard, she supported the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope projects as a science writer at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
Vanessa is also an amateur astronomer and enjoys visiting dark-sky locations to spy distant nebulae, star clusters, and galaxies with her own eyes, as well as setting up her telescope in parks or on street corners to share the wonders of the sky with others.
Tracy Vogel is a science writer for the Astrophysics Projects Division at Goddard Space Flight Center. Prior to her work at Goddard, she spent 14 years working on public outreach and social media for the Hubble Space Telescope and James Webb Space Telescope missions at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, where she was a member of a Webby award-winning team.
She graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism, and was a reporter and editor for a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites. Her work has included articles, interactive features, video scripts, ebooks, blogs and more.
Susan has been in the Astrophysics Projects Division (APD) Office since 2010 serving as Secretary to the Associate Director and Deputy Program Manager. She’s responsible for maintaining calendars for the Division managers, preparing travel orders and vouchers, initiating badge requests, serving as LIST Monitor, being the point of contact for timecards, and providing administrative support for the APD Office. Susan initiated and hosts the Code 400 Travel Preparers Issues Group which meets regularly throughout the year to find solutions to various travel issues in Concur Travel.
Colleen Ponton is the Integrated Program Team Lead for the Astrophysics Projects Division Project Support team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Ms. Ponton has more than 30 years of multifunctional experience with an emphasis on project support and data management, supporting eight Shuttle missions and one Delta mission. She supervises and provides technical leadership for about 30 personnel supporting the Astrophysics Projects Division, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Project, the Wide Field Infrared Space Telescope (WFIRST) Project, the Satellite Servicing Projects Division, and has supported the GLAST, Con-X, JDEM, LISA, Express Logistics Carriers, Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), and EP/Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) Projects. In addition to her data management experience, she has experience with records management, photo documentation management, Education/Public Outreach (E/PO), and broad aspects of logistics for spacecraft and launch support.
Ms. Ponton received a B.S. in Communication with a minor in Technical Management from the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and has earned a Project management Professional (PMP) certification. She is a member of the UMUC Honor Society, Tau Chapter, and has served as President of the Goddard Contractors’ Association and as an officer and Competent Toastmaster (CTM) of the Space Speakers Toastmasters Club.
Dr. Ganel is currently Program Technologist/Systems Engineer (SE) at the Astrophysics Projects Division, as well as Production Lead, editor, and co-author of the Program Annual Technology Reports (PATRs) for the Physics of the Cosmos (PCOS) and Cosmic Origins (COR) Program Offices.
Opher began his career in academia, working in high-energy physics. His research experience includes particle detector R&D at Texas Tech University, helping develop the concept for the very forward calorimeter of CERN’s CMS experiment that can survive 10 Gigarads; recommissioning the Meson Test beamline at Fermilab for the CDF detector upgrade effort, increasing usable yield 10-fold; and after leaving Texas in 1997, joining the University of Maryland Cosmic-Ray Physics group where he was Co-Investigator (Co-I) on the ATIC and CREAM balloon experiments, serving as de-facto Instrument Manager (IM) and Instrument Systems Engineer (ISE) for CREAM.
After leaving academia in 2009, Opher served as Co-I and SE on the Firefly CubeSat mission; capture manager/IM on in-house GSFC proposal efforts; and ISE at GSFC’s Instrument Development Lab (IDL), supporting studies spanning Earth, Planetary, and Astrophysics instrument concepts.
Opher brings 30 years of experience in cutting-edge science and technology work in collider experiments, as well as sub-orbital and satellite projects; leading multi-disciplinary and international teams; and serving as an effective interface between members of management, science, and engineering teams.
Opher holds an MSc in theoretical physics (Green-Schwartz Superstring theory) and a PhD in experimental high-energy physics (Searches for Standard Model and Minimal SuperSymmetric Model Higgs Bosons with the OPAL Detector at LEP), both from the Weizmann Institute of Science.
David “Chip” Forward is the Logistics Manager.
Chip started in this career field in 1984 when he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in the Transportation Career Field. After 4 years he transferred to the Air Force Reserve and cross trained to the Aerial Port operations career field (Cargo/Passengers and Equipment worldwide airlift).
In 1993 Chip came to Goddard and was part of the Transportation and Logistics Office in charge of the Small Package shipping office. In 1999 he transferred to the Hubble Space Telescope Flight Systems and Servicing Project and has been on the Hubble Team ever since, now at the Astrophysics Projects Division level sustaining many in a variety of project support capacities.
PMP and ITIL certified Project Manager of numerous national and global IT Projects for commercial and government customers. Program Manager experienced with establishing and leading project management offices, leading large delivery teams, training project managers, and coaching leadership teams on industry best practices.
Herb is a Senior Graphic Designer for the Program Analysis and Control (PAAC) Contract. He provides print and publication design, illustration, virtual modeling, video, animation, and photography support services for PAAC customers at Goddard and throughout NASA.
Currently, Herb primarily supports the Satellite Servicing Projects Division (SSPD) and the Astrophysics Projects Division (APD), here at Goddard. SSPD grew out of the team responsible for the HST servicing missions that Herb began supporting in 1998, and Herb grew along with them. SSPD has a robust media program including virtual modeling, video, and animations for presentations, workshops, television broadcast, web-based public outreach, and International Space Station crew training, in additional to traditional products. APD primarily calls on Herb for publication design. Herb has designed their Program Annual Technology Reports for the past six years.
Herb’s graphics work has been displayed at several Smithsonian museums, the Warner Bros. corporate museum, and has been used at Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center. Herb’s video and animation work has been broadcast on all of the major U.S. networks, as well as on NASA Television.