Carl Preston Jones has been appointed associate director, technical, of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
He will provide expert technical assistance and advice to Marshall Director Jody Singer, supporting the full spectrum of NASA engineering, science and technology work at Marshall. Working closely with senior managers across the center, he will perform special studies, advise and assist in policy reviews, and develop benchmarking strategies. In this role, Jones will ensure Marshall's work is technically sound and achieves the goals and requirements of NASA and the nation.
"Preston's leadership in developing and testing innovative new propulsion systems, science-enabling spacecraft and cutting-edge technologies ideally suits him to this new position," Singer said. "In this new role, he will continue to be instrumental in forging a bold new era of deep space exploration and discovery."
One of NASA's largest field installations, Marshall has almost 6,000 civil service and contract personnel, an annual budget of approximately $2.8 billion and is responsible for a broad spectrum of human spaceflight, science and technology development.
Since 2016, Jones had served as director of Marshall's Engineering Directorate, which leads the design, development and testing of numerous NASA space systems, including life support hardware for the International Space Station, multiple flight vehicles, spacecraft and lander hardware and software systems. Under his guidance, the Engineering Directorate provided critical support to the Space Launch System -- the world's most powerful rocket, which will send astronauts to the Moon and ultimately to Mars.
Jones began his NASA career in 1982 as an engineer in Marshall's Structural Dynamics Laboratory, where he worked as a high-frequency data analyst supporting the Space Shuttle Program launches and post-flight assessments. He was the Liquid Engine Systems Branch chief in Marshall's Propulsion Laboratory from 1994-1997 and the Propulsion Test Division chief from 1997-2000. He moved from the Engineering Directorate to the Shuttle Main Engine Project Office, serving as the engine systems team lead from 2000-2002.
He was appointed in 2002 to the Senior Executive Service, the personnel system covering top managerial positions in federal agencies. He next lead the Engineering Directorate's Propulsion Systems Department from 2002-2007 and its Spacecraft and Vehicle Systems Department from 2007-2011. He was named deputy director of the Engineering Directorate in 2011.
Among numerous awards and citations, Jones in 2008 received the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives -- one of the highest honors presented to career federal employees -- for outstanding achievement at NASA; the NASA Distinguished Service Medal in 2014 for career achievement and technical contributions; and the Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2006 for his leadership as manager of Marshall's Propulsion Systems Department. In 1992, he was presented a Silver Snoopy Award from the NASA astronaut corps for his contributions to the success of human spaceflight missions.
He earned a bachelor's degree in physics in 1982 from the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega and has completed engineering courses at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta and the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Jones and his wife Betty live in Huntsville. They have three sons -- Coleman, Zachary and Sam -- and two grandsons, Adam and Paul.
For more information about the work of the Marshall Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/marshall