NASA taps Huntsville native Clyde Jones for key Michoud post

NASA taps Huntsville native Clyde Jones for key Michoud post

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Clyde S. "Chip" Jones, a native of Huntsville, Ala., has been appointed chief operating officer for Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The appointment was made by David King, director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville Ala., which manages the Michoud facility.

Jones will be responsible for day-to-day management and operation of the 830-acre Michoud facility, which employs more than 4,000 workers.

Michoud is responsible for the design, manufacture and assembly of the space shuttle's external tank. Michoud also has been selected to support NASA's Constellation Program for the agency's exploration missions to return to the moon and travel beyond. Work there has already begun for the Orion crew exploration vehicle, while planning is underway for the Ares launch vehicles, all part of the Constellation Program.

"Mr. Jones will be responsible for ensuring that NASA is well-positioned to support large-scaled manufacturing necessary for all current and future launch systems," King said. "Varied technical expertise and solid business acumen, combined with his thorough knowledge of NASA's mission to return to the moon, make him the ideal person to serve in this position."

Jones previously served as manufacturing and assembly manager for the Ares I Upper Stage, and was responsible for delivery of all development, test and flight hardware for NASA's newest launch vehicle, which will send crew members on board the Orion crew launch vehicle into space.

From 2004 to 2005, he was external tank resident manager at Michoud Assembly Facility, overseeing the shuttle's external tank manufacturing activities.

Jones served from 2002 to 2004 as group lead for Metallic Materials and Processes in the Materials & Processes Laboratory in Marshall's Engineering Directorate and was responsible for metals development, testing and welding. In 1992, he was named team lead for welding in the Materials and Processes Laboratory. He led the use of robotic welding for the International Space Station structures, and led development of friction stir welding for the external tank. Jones began his NASA career in 1981 as an electrical engineer in the Science and Engineering Directorate, working on robotic and computer controlled welding systems.

Jones received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1978. He has completed graduate studies in control systems.

He has received numerous awards and honors, including a Director's Commendation in 2006 for his response to Hurricane Katrina and a U.S.

patent award in 1998 for a method for marking, capturing and decoding machine-readable matrix symbols using magneto-optic imaging techniques.

Also in 1998, he was honored with the NASA Medal for Exceptional Achievement for leadership of the welding team.

Mr. Jones and his wife Laura reside in Fayetteville, Tenn.