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Diaz Names Vanek and Denoon to New Management Positions at Goddard Spaceflight Center

Press Release From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2001

Goddard Space Flight Center Director Center A. V. Diaz has announced two key personnel actions, naming Charles Vanek to a newly created post as Assistant Director for Safety and Security and Wentworth O. Denoon as the Director, Office of Systems Safety and Mission Assurance.

Diaz said Vanek will serve as the focal point at Goddard for improving Center-wide integration and coordination for safety, security, health and environmental initiatives and related activities. He will work with safety and security officials across various NASA Headquarters organizations, external agencies, academia and industry and will represent a coordinated Goddard view at national and interagency meetings and to senior NASA management.

As Director of the Systems Safety and Mission Assurance Office, Denoon will be responsible for the management of flight assurance, flight safety, reliability, quality control and material engineering for all GSFC flight projects and is responsible for institutional conduct of all major reviews of flight and ground systems at Goddard.

Prior to being named to this post, Vanek was the Director, Office of Systems Safety and Mission Assurance, Director of Flight Assurance, responsible for the management of flight assurance, flight safety, reliability, quality control and material engineering for all GSFC flight projects. He has held that post since March 1997. Prior to that, Vanek was the Associate Director of Flight Projects.

Vanek joined NASA in 1966 as a junior engineer and gradually assumed increasingly responsible and more comprehensive technical and managerial positions. He held various engineering positions in the Engineering Directorate prior to joining the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) Project in January 1976. In December of 1980 he was made the Communications Payload Manager for TDRS and served in that position until 1983. In December 1983 he became the TDRS Deputy Project Manager for Space and served in that capacity until October 1989 when he was named Project Manager for the TDRS Project.

Vanek holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland.

Denoon had been serving as the Deputy Director of the Systems Safety and Mission Assurance Office since April 1995. From May 1993 until his appointment as the Deputy Director, Denoon was chief of the Assurance Management Office.

Denoon joined the Systems Safety and Mission Assurance Office in June 1972 where he performed engineering functions related to failure analysis, testing of flight hardware and reliability of spacecraft systems and components engineering. Some of the spacecraft systems he worked on over the years included the Multimission Modular Spacecraft, the Landsat remote sensing spacecraft and the International Ultraviolet Explorer.

Mr. Denoon was appointed Flight Assurance Manager of the Satellite Servicing Project in 1986 and was responsible for the safety, reliability and quality assurance program for the project. He continued to serve in this capacity until 1992 during which time he oversaw many successful spacecraft development, such as Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, Extreme Ultra Violet Experiment and the Flight Support System for the Solar Maximum Repair Mission. He received the Exceptional Service Award for his work on the Satellite Servicing Project.

In July 1992, Mr. Denoon was reassigned to the Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite project as senior Flight Assurance Manager where he served until May 1993 when he was appointed Chief, Assurance Management Office.

Mr. Denoon received bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Howard University in 1972 and his master's degree in engineering administration from George Washington University in 1976.

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