Pressure Vessels and Systems Awards

On April 15, 22 ERC employees were recognized for completing a two-year program that brought the Pressure Vessels and Systems back up to code for Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Employees from our Marshall Engineering Technicians and Trades Support (METTS) and Engineering and Science Services and Skills Augmentation (ESSSA) contracts were recognized with NASA Silver Medals and certificates signed by the NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

We, too, want to thank our employees who supported this program for their hard work and dedication. Listed below are the ERC employees who supported this effort, followed by the write up from NASA presented at the award ceremony that describes the extent of the program and its significant impact on MSFC safety and operations.

11133627-largeERC Employees

  1. Donald Barnett
  2. Steve Buss
  3. Christina Basham
  4. Joseph Collins
  5. Donald Frazier
  6. Steven Hanback
  7. Lonnie Hayes
  8. Richard Joye
  9. Ralph Keller
  10. Eric King
  11. Kelvin May
  12. James Milligan
  13. Christopher Morrow  8473318-large
  14. Terrell Parker
  15. Randy Perez
  16. Paul Riley
  17. Ralph Thompson
  18. Jeffrey Weaver
  19. Paula West
  20. Chuck Young
  21. Robert Ziegler
  22. Mike Watwood


Due to a number of years of inadequate attention, MSFC wound up in a position where the certification of many of the Pressure Vessels and Systems (PVS) onsite had expired, but continued to operate with inadequate assessment, inspections, and evaluations.  Several years ago, an evaluation determined that not only were many PVS operating without proper certification, but many also had deficiencies leading to potentially unsafe conditions.  This put the Center in a position of having a “red” or “critical” safety risk where the PVS were concerned, which could have been catastrophic to the Center and its assets.

A concerted effort was begun to eliminate the “backlog” of uncertified PVS to ensure all PVS onsite were safe and properly authorized for operation.  The number of PVS at the center is in the hundreds, with many being very large and complex; thus the effort to work off the backlog was considerable.  A group of exceptionally dedicated civil servants and contractors from across the Center worked extremely hard for approximately 2 years to make sure all active systems on the backlog list were properly inspected, evaluated, assessed, and that the proper paperwork for approval to operate was processed.

Due to their tireless efforts and dedication, the center was able to see the “red” risk reduced to “yellow” on October 1st of 2013, and then reduced from “yellow” to “green” on February 1st, 2014.  Not only was this team able to achieve the incredible amount of work it took to make this happen, but they also did so within the aggressive schedule, which was proposed by the Pressure Systems Manager and then approved by Center Management, which was a very notable feat in itself.

The PVS Team have exemplified the NASA core values of Safety and Teamwork in all that they have accomplished to ensure that the public, NASA’s assets, and team member of the Marshall Space Flight Center have a safer place to work.

1 Comment

  1. Kirk Foster on April 25, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Great job everyone. Your group really pulled together and helped everyone at MSFC stay in business. I know there was a lot of long hours put in and just wanted to say how much we appreciate your efforts.