Dr. L. Dale Thomas

Propulsion Research Center Deputy Director ASGC Director Eminent Scholar in Systems Engineering Professor, ISEEM

Contact

320 Sparkman Drive
Olin B. King Technology Hall
Room N151
Huntsville, AL 35899
Campus Map

256.824.4243
dale.thomas@uah.edu

Biography

UAH Alumnus (1988) Dr. L. Dale Thomas joined ISEEM in Fall 2015 as a full professor and was Board-appointed as the Eminent Scholar in Systems Engineering. Within a year, he established the UAH Complex Systems Integration Laboratory (CSIL), UAH's advanced systems engineering research facility focusing on Model-Based Systems Engineering. Among several projects, the lab is assisting the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) with cube satellites to be deployed during the first Space Launch System in 2019. In July 2017, he was appointed as the Deputy Director of the UAH Propulsion Research Center (PRC). In that role, he leads the Propulsion Systems Engineering research team and engages in strategic planning activities.

In July 2017, Dr. Thomas was appointed Director of the Alabama Space Grant Consortium, the congress-created body that implements a portfolio of programs in research, education and public service projects in science and engineering. Dr. Thomas' core objective in assuming the role is to strengthen ties between academic researchers and industry.

Dr. Thomas brings 32 years of NASA experience to his current work on campus. He worked as an aerospace systems engineer on projects based at MSFC in Huntsville and Johnson Space Center in Houston, including the Space Station Freedom Project, the International Space Station Program, the NASA Space Launch Initiative, and the Constellation Program. In 2011 he was appointed MSFC's Associate Center Director, a role he maintained until his 2015 retirement from NASA. He serves as the Director of Alabama NASA EPSCoR (Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) Program.

Dr. Thomas has authored numerous technical papers and chapters in two textbooks, and served as an editor for the systems engineering textbook Applied Systems Engineering. He travels nationwide presenting elements of his research on models based systems engineering. Alongside other colleagues in UAH College of Engineering, Dr. Thomas served as a conference co-chair of the 14th Conference on Systems Engineering Research hosted by UAH in March 2016.

Curriculum Vitae


Education

  • Ph.D., Systems Engineering-Computer Engineering | Mathematics, University of Alabama-Huntsville, 1988
  • M.S., Industrial Engineering-Electronic Engineering, North Carolina State University, 1983
  • B.S.E., Industrial & Systems Engineering, University of Alabama-Huntsville, 1981

Expertise

  • Model Based Systems Engineering
  • Systems Integration
  • Systems Science

Recent Publications

  • S. Kumar, D. Thomas, & J. Cassibry, "Nuclear Propulsion for Future Planetary Missions," Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space, American Nuclear Society Topical Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee, April 6-9, 2020. (accepted)

  • A. Aueron & D. Thomas, "Mars Mission Architecture Decision through Value Models," Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space, American Nuclear Society Topical Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee, April 6-9, 2020. (accepted)

  • N. Morris & D. Thomas, "Stay cool – Alternatives for Long Term Storage of Large Quantities of Liquid Hydrogen on a Mars Transfer Vehicle", Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space, American Nuclear Society Topical Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee, April 6-9, 2020. (accepted)

  • E. Woods & D. Thomas, "Alternatives for Electrical Power Production from a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Engine", Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space, American Nuclear Society Topical Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee, April 6-9, 2020. (accepted)

  • D. Nikitaev, D. Thomas, & J. Cassibry, "A Laboratory Test to Evaluate Seeded Hydrogen in a Nuclear Thermal Rocket Engine, Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space, American Nuclear Society Topical Meeting, Knoxville, Tennessee, April 6-9, 2020. (accepted)

  • I. Rountree, V. Lopez, & D. Thomas, "Change Management Processes in MBSE," 18th Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Redondo Beach, California, March 19-21, 2020. (accepted)

  • A. Aueron, D. Thomas, & P. Collopy, "The Value of Enhanced Delta V Capacity: A Europa Clipper Case Study," 70th International Astronautical Congress, Paper IAC-19,D2,8-A5.4,12,x51117, Washington, DC, October 21-25, 2019.