Professor Greg Odegard (ME-EM) is the director of the Ultra-Strong Composites by Computational Design (US-COMP) NASA Space Technology Research Institute (STRI), one of the inaugural STRIs funded by the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. And now he has received a NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal, awarded to nongovernment employees for “notable leadership accomplishments that have significantly influenced the NASA Mission.”
The five-year US-COMP collaboration brings together 22 professors from 11 universities and two industry partners with a range of expertise in molecular modeling, manufacturing, material synthesis and testing.
Odegard’s nomination letter outlines how he harnessed the group’s talents to successfully overcome challenges and make significant progress:
“Dr. Odegard leads by example, exhibiting the NASA core values for safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence and inclusion. He respected the constraints imposed by safety measures taken to protect students during COVID, while finding ways to continue making progress. He embraced the challenges of working with industry, where open sharing of information is tempered by the need to maintain their competitive edge. He walked the fine balance of demonstrating investment payoff for the funder through publications, while respecting intellectual property concerns by the industry members. Dr. Odegard’s openness to change to more effectively serve NASA’s mission needs is exceptional. He led with the courage and humility of leaders who leave an indelible legacy because they are different. His service to the Agency and to the nation deserves recognition.”
Jenn Gustetic, director of NASA Early Stage Innovations and Partnerships, told Odegard the medal is well deserved. “Leading extensive and complex transdisciplinary research across numerous partners is no small feat — and you did so to great effect,” Gustetic said. “I am delighted that the Agency is recognizing your individual leadership contribution in this way, as institutes do not come together well without exceptional leadership.”
Odegard received the medal at a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., on April 26, 2023. The US-COMP team was also recognized by the agency as a whole for their contributions.
Please join us in congratulating Professor Odegard on this important recognition and achievement.