Satnews Daily
September 30th, 2014

NOAA's New NESDIS Leader + Silver Snoopy Award

[SatNews]  He is the recipient of several awards, including from NASA the Silver Snoopy Award (1994) and...

NOAA has announced that Dr. Stephen Volz, a top official at NASA and an award-winning aerospace engineer, has been tapped to lead NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service (NESDIS).

Volz replaces Mary E. Kicza, who retired earlier this year as the NESDIS assistant administrator. Dr. Volz will assume this new role on November 2. As assistant administrator, Volz will shepherd NOAA’s programs to build and launch the next generation of environmental satellites: the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series (GOES-R), and other missions, including the Deep Space Climate Observatory, known as DSCOVR. He’ll also manage NOAA’s current spacecraft fleet and NESDIS’ vast climate, oceanographic and geophysical data operations. Data from these NESDIS assets are used throughout NOAA, across the federal family and around the world for operational weather forecasts and climate impact assessments. In his current position at NASA, Volz manages all of the agency’s Earth science flight missions and associated activities, including 17 satellites currently operating on orbit, 12 in formulation and development, and others in the early study and design stages.

While at NASA, Volz was the Earth science program executive for a series of Earth science missions, including CloudSat, CALIPSO and ICESat. He led the senior review for the Earth science operating missions. Volz worked for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center as an instrument manager, a systems engineer and a cryogenic systems engineer on missions and instruments including the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE). In addition to his government service, Volz worked in the private sector as a project manager and principal engineer at the Ball Aerospace Corporation, leading the design and development of the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF) cryostat system, renamed the Spitzer Space Telescope after launch, among other projects.

Volz is a member of several professional societies, including the American Physical Society, the American Astronomical Society, the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society. He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and an active member of the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society. He is the recipient of several awards, including from NASA the Silver Snoopy Award (1994) and the Goddard Space Flight Center John Boeckel Award for Engineering Excellence (1992), and the Ball Corporation Award of Excellence (2001). Dr. Volz earned his Ph.D. in experimental condensed matter physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1986, an M.S. in physics from Illinois in 1981 and a B.S. in physics from the University of Virginia in 1980. He has more than 20 publications in peer reviewed journals.

The NOAA infosite is located at