Mr. Mark Wells

RESEARCH ENGINEER VI, Center for Applied Optics


Specialization in Opto-mechanical and precision engineering. Aerospace and Manned spaceflight hardware engineering and design, mechanism design, precision motion systems, metrology frames, materials selection, failure analysis. 35+ total years engineering experience.


  • 1986-1989: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN : ABD, Completed coursework and research requirements for a Doctoral degree in Materials Engineering with a Mechanical Engineering minor.. Research in Characterization of high temperature Directional Solidification Processes pertaining to In-Situ composites. Dissertation was not completed due to family illness.
  • 1983: Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Thesis topic: “Correlation’s Between Processing Variables and the Optical Properties of Germanium Dioxide Glass”. Minor in Mechanical Engineering
  • 1981: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering; Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky
  • 1980: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology; Western Kentucky University, May 1980

Other Training

  • Pro-E CAD training 2004, SPIE short course in Optomechanical Design 1992, Vibration analysis shortcourse 1984, Autocad course 1995, NASA continuous risk assessment course 2001, HAZMAT training and certification 2010.

Previous Positions

  • 2008 to Present: Dynetics, Huntsville Alabama, Senior Engineer, Advanced Materials and Nanodevices group
  • 2003 to current on-call status: University of Alabama in Huntsville Center for Applied Optics.
  • 1996 – 2003: University of California Huntsville Spaceflight Projects Office, Senior Engineer
  • 1989 – 1996: Teledyne Brown Engineering, Huntsville Alabama, Principal Engineer, Space Systems
  • Advanced Programs Group
  • 1983 – 1986: General Electric, Hendersonville, TN. Project Engineer.


  • WAVE High altitude tracking system, Argusite camera system, AVGS advanced video guidance system, LOCAD ADU 25 lab on a chip development system, PTS SWAB spaceflight hardware biological sampling system for ISS, KSC Ground lens telescope replacement study.

Patents and Awards

  • US Patents: 4932975, 5032172, 7118626, 7198940, 9164111. Two NASA Technology Innovation Awards

Publications and Presentations

  • Development of 90% Hydrogen Peroxide Mono-Propellant Propulsion System for Warm Gas Test Article, Wayne W. Neumaier Jr. , Mark Wells , Anthony Brinkley , Thomas Talty , AIAA Propulsion Conference, 2012. AIAA 2012-3755
  • Wells, M. and A. Brinkley, “From Rocket Belts to Lunar Landings: Peroxide’s Quite Revolution”, HAL5 Technical Presentation, Huntsville, Al. Dec. 1, 2011.
  • Maule JG, Wainwright NR, Steele A, Monaco LA, Morris HC, Gunter DL, Damon M, Wells M. Rapid Culture-Independent Microbial Analysis aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Astrobiology. 2009 October; 9(8): 759-775. DOI: 10.1089/ast.2008.0319. PMID: 19845447.
  • Maule JG, Wainwright NR, Steele A, Gunter DL, Flores GN, Effinger MR, Damon M, Wells M, Williams S, Morris HC, Monaco LA. LOCAD-PTS: Operation of a new system for microbial monitoring aboard the International Space Station. AIAA Space 2008 Conference and Exposition, San Diego, CA; 2008
  • Maule JG, Wainwright NR, Steele A, Gunter DL, Flores GN, Effinger MR, Damon M, Wells M, Williams SL, Morris HC, Monaco LA. Rapid Monitoring of Bacteria and Fungi Aboard the International Space Station. 47th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit, Orlando, FL; 2009
  • Wells, M. “The Work and Inventions of Thomas Moore”, presentation at the first International Rocketbelt Convention & Bell Aerosystems reunion in Niagra, NY, 2006
  • Wells, M., G. Jenkins, J. Howard, L. Hendrix, A. McPherson, The Observable Protein Crystal Growth Apparatus: A Compact Diagnostic Crystal Growth System for Space Flight Application, Montreal Spacebound Conference Proceedings, 2000
  • McPherson A., Malkin A., Kusnetsov Y., Koszelak S., Wells M., Jenkins G., Howard J., Lawson G., The Effects of Microgravity on Protein Crystallization: evidence for concentration gradients around growing crystals. Journal of Crystal Growth 196 (1999)572-586
  • Wells, M., T. Cole, A. Kathman, S. Koszelak, A. McPherson, “Development of a Compact Diagnostic Intensive Protein Crystal Growth System for Space Flight Application”, AIAA Space Programs and Technologies Conference, September 28, 1994.
  • Overfelt, R.A., M. Wells, C. Matlock, “Viscosity of Superalloy 718 by the Oscillating Vessel Technique”, Metallurgical and Materials Transactions, Vol. 27B, Aug. 1996.
  • Wells, M., M. Groff, “Design and Development of a Transparent Bridgman Furnace”, 36th Annual International Symposium on Optical and Optoelectronic Applied Science and Engineering, July 21, 1991.
  • Overfelt, R., M. Wells, “Solar Furnace Satellite for Large Diameter Crystal Growth in Space”, AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, January 1993.
  • Wells, M., R. Overfelt, “Direct Solar Heated Furnace Satellite Technology Development”, 1991 TABES Program, Microgravity Research and Materials Processing, Huntsville, AK May 1991.
  • Main, J., M. Wells, T. Keller, D. Spengler, “Design and Testing of a Flexible Vertebral Prosthetic Device”, Journal of Biomedical Engineering, Jan. 1989.
  • Wells, M., R. Overfelt, “Prototype Development of a Very High Temperature Directional Solidification Furnace”, AIAA Annual Meeting, Jan. 12, 1988.