Dr. Ajay Misra serves as the deputy director of Research and Engineering at NASA’s John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. He shares responsibility with the director of Research and Engineering for leading and managing approximately 1,100 scientists, engineers and administrative staff dedicated to Glenn’s research and development in propulsion, communications, power, and materials and structures for extreme environments in support of NASA’s aeronautics and space missions.
Prior to his current role, Dr. Misra served as chief of the Materials and Structures Division in the Research and Engineering Directorate at Glenn, where he provided executive leadership for all aspects of planning, organizing and directing technology development and demonstration efforts, ranging from basic and applied research in advanced materials and structures for aerospace propulsion and power to the development of space flight structures. Dr. Misra held a number of organizational management positions in the Materials and Structures Division including deputy division chief and chief of the Ceramics Branch.
Dr. Misra has completed notable detail assignments at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. throughout his career. Initially, he served as deputy program director and later as acting program director for the Fundamental Aeronautics Program in the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. He also served as program executive for the Radioisotope Power System program in the Science Mission Directorate. His responsibilities included developing advanced nuclear radioisotope power systems to power future robotic planetary science missions, with activities ranging from new technology development to qualifying technologies for flight.
Dr. Misra earned a doctorate degree in materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree in business administration from Cleveland State University. He has authored three book chapters and authored or co-authored sixty publications. He is often an invited speaker at technical conferences and serves on multiple advisory boards. Dr. Misra has received several prestigious awards for his work at NASA, including the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executives in 2015.