August 21, 2009
MRS Student Chapter Seminar
Dr. Ralph Carruth
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Biography. Ralph Carruth is Manager of the Materials and Processes Laboratory at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The Marshall Space Flight Center is one of NASA’s largest field installations with more than 7,600 on- and near-site civil service and contractor employees and an annual budget of $2.6 billion. The Center is responsible for a broad range of propulsion, scientific and space transportation activities contributing to the nation's space program.
Mr. Carruth started his professional career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 1978 conducting research to describe the production and flow of plasmas produced by ion thrusters as well as the interaction of such plasmas with spacecraft systems. In 1981 he moved to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he has held positions of increasing responsibility, working in the areas of electric propulsion, photovoltaic development, and the interactions of materials and systems with the space environment as well as spacecraft development and engineering for flight. He has played instrumental roles in numerous NASA missions and developments including Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the International Space Station, the Shuttle-Mir Program, the Space Shuttle Program and more recently the Constellation Program’s Ares I development.
He received a BS degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 1975 and MS degrees from the University of Arkansas in 1978 and the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1989.