Monsi C. Roman was appointed Program Manager of the NASA Centennial Challenges Program in June 2015. In this role Roman manages the day-to-day operations of the Agency Flagship Prizes and Competition program. The program supports technology developments under the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Prior to joining the NASA STMD team, Ms. Roman held several positions at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, where she started working in September 1989. From 1989 to 2013 she served as the International Space Station (ISS) Life Support Chief Microbiologist, as part of a small team of scientists and engineers that developed and tested the water and air systems currently keeping the crew alive in the ISS. In 2010 she was named the Project Manager for the development of the next generation of life support systems, including sensors that could be used during a mission to Mars. In that capacity, she was responsible for leading and coordinating the technology development work of 6 NASA Centers and over 30 NASA civil servants. In 2014 she was assigned to NASA Headquarters where she supported the Agency in the areas related to the Journey to Mars.
Ms. Roman has been the recipient of numerous NASA awards, including two of the most prestigious: the NASA Space Flight Awareness Honoree Award and the NASA Silver Snoopy Award (an astronaut’s personal award, given to less than 1% of the NASA workforce, “for outstanding efforts that contribute to the success of human space flight missions”). In addition, she has received the Space Station Program Office Team Excellence Award, Distinguished Performance Awards, and several NASA’s Service awards for technical work and outreach efforts. Her last Director Commendation Honor Award read: "For exceptionally broad, aggressive and effective expansion of NASA Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS) outreach and visibility to the public".
Ms. Roman holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a major in Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras and a Master of Science in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Ms. Roman has more than 65 technical publications in the areas of space microbiology, biofilm, microbial monitoring, Internal Active Thermal Control System (ITCS), life support systems, technology development and Project Management. She was the chair for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Life Science and Systems Technical Committee from 2013 to 2015.
From Monitoring Microbes in the International Space Station to Building Houses on Mars: A Path that will Require the Contributions of a Diverse Community
Thursday, November 2
12:45 – 1:45 pm