NASA Deputy Chief Technologist Jim Adams is seen here on Aug. 11 with PISCES Executive Director Rob Kelso and PISCES Operations Manager Christian Andersen.

NASA Deputy Chief Technologist Jim Adams recently visited the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems.

During his visit, Adams talked to PISCES members and interns about the latest in NASA technology. After the talk story session, Adams went on a specialized tour that included a visit to PISCES’ Laser Lava Lab and a journey to the PISCES robotics high bay.

Adams has more than 35 years of aerospace engineering and management experience, both in the private sector and as a civil servant at NASA. He has significant Program and Project management experience and is currently serving Senior Executive in the Office of the Chief Technologist as the Agency Deputy Chief Technologist.

He has an extensive background in design, development and operations of both large and small-scale spacecraft missions as well as ground systems and infrastructure. His skills range across program and project management, acquisition, planning, implementation and execution.

Since March of 2012, Adams has been serving as the Deputy Chief Technologist for the Agency. In this capacity, he manages a diverse group of center chief technologist’s offices and technology transfer offices that represent every NASA field center. Additionally, within the OCT at NASA HQ, the Agency’s Technology Strategic Integration Office and Innovation Office report directly to him.

From February 2007 to March 2012, Adams served as the Deputy Division Director of the Planetary Science Division (PSD) at NASA Headquarters in the Science Mission Directorate where he was responsible for a $1.5 billion portfolio annually encompassing five programs, nine missions in operations, five missions in various stages of development and numerous supporting activities ranging from operations systems, to technology investments to international partnerships.

Adams was also the Program Director for the Discovery, New Frontiers and Lunar Quest programs within PSD.

In late 2009 he was assigned as the chair of the Space Communication and Networks Program Standing Review Board. To date he has led two Program Implementation Reviews.

Prior to his assignment at NASA Headquarters, Adams served for 17 years at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in a variety of capacities that include:

  • Project Manager for Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-K/L Project
  • Deputy Project Manager for NASA’s twin spacecraft Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO) mission.
  • Work Package Evaluation Team Chairman for the Space Mission Communications and Data Services (SMCDS) Near Earth Network Services (NENS) procurement
  • Project Formulation Manager for the Global Precipitation Measurement mission
  • Chief of the Rapid Spacecraft Development Office
  • Observatory Manager for the EOS Chemistry, WIND and POLAR missions

Adams was employed by the General Electric Company in Valley Forge, PA from 1979 to 1989 as a Systems Engineer where he helped design Military and Civil Communications spacecraft.

He has worked on more than two dozen successful currently operating space missions, received three NASA medals recognizing exceptional service and leadership including NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal. Adams holds a B.S. in Physics from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University in Villanova, PA.