Mark M. Kowaleski
Mark is a published author, freelance writer, blogger, and public speaker. Mark has been an aerospace engineer at NASA for over 30 years. Mark has been a safety professional and enthusiast for most of his professional career, and his experiences have shaped his views and perspectives on personal safety and what it takes to succeed.
In his current position at NASA, Mark is Chief Engineer at the NASA Safety Center. Prior to this role Mark was the Chief of the Safety and Health Division at the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC). He is responsible for implementing GRC’s Operational Safety, Occupational Health, and Mishap Investigation programs and ensuring the safe operation of Glenn’s research facilities and the safety and health of its 3600 employees. Prior to his current position, Mark served as the System Safety Technical Lead at the NASA Safety Center (NSC), where he was responsible for the professional development of NASA’s System Safety workforce.
Mark has served in a variety of positions over the years. Mark served as the Acting Branch Chief of the Reliability and System Safety Engineering Branch at GRC. At NASA Headquarters he served as the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel’s (ASAP) Executive Director, where he reported directly to the NASA Administrator and was responsible for delivering the ASAP’s Annual Report to Congress. He also served as the Safety and Mission Assurance (SMA) Manager for the Space Shuttle Program in the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance (OSMA). In this role Kowaleski was responsible for maintaining oversight of the execution of all Space Shuttle safety, reliability, maintainability, quality assurance, and risk assessment activities and he provided safety expertise during Space Shuttle missions, serving on-console in the Launch Control Center for Space Shuttle launches. During his Space Shuttle years Mark served on a variety of senior assessment teams including the Shuttle Life Extension Program, the STS-114 Gap Filler Close-call Investigation, the post-Columbia Return to Flight Team, and the Shuttle Crew Survivability Study. He also served as the SMA Manager for the Space Launch Initiative, supported a missile propellants and ordinance handling safety assessment at the Pentagon, and served as the Associate Director for Systematic Measurements in the Office of Earth Science At Goddard Space Flight Center, Mark served as Operations Manager for Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite project and as System Engineer and Project Manager for ground systems including communications, data processing, flight dynamics, and ground stations for Earth Observing Satellites.
During his NASA career, Mark has received over 40 performance awards, including the NASA Space Flight Awareness Award, Exceptional Service Medal, and various Group Achievement Awards related to the implementation and safety of complex aerospace systems. Mark served two years in the U.S. Army as a Forward Observer in the Light Infantry Division, based at Fort Ord, CA. Mark is also an avid rock guitar musician, fitness and health enthusiast, and loves being a dedicated father to his daughter and a devoted husband to his wife.
Mark received his B.S. degree in Electronics Engineering from the University of Scranton and his M.S. degree in System Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University. Mark has achieved NASA’s highest qualification level in the System Safety discipline and has accumulated over 3500 hours of professional development. Mark is a member of the International System Safety Society and the Greater Cleveland Safety Council. He is currently pursuing the Certified Safety Professional credential. Mark resides in Avon, OH with his wife and daughter.