Matthew Melis

Program Element Manager
Game Changing Development Program
Space Technology Mission Directorate



Matt received both a BS in Civil Engineering and an MS in Engineering Mechanics from Michigan State University and has worked at the NASA Glenn Research Center for 36 years. His primary background is in advanced finite element modeling and analysis methods, including nonlinear and dynamic impact loading. Trained in engineering mechanics, he has been recognized for expertise in actively cooled structures, stress analysis, and ballistic impact research during his tenure at Glenn. He has worked on numerous aeronautics and space programs for the agency, including the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle and NASA’s Exploration Program. In the four and a half years that followed the 2003 Columbia accident, Matt was assigned full time to working the Columbia Accident Investigation and the Shuttle Return to Flight Program as technical lead of the NASA Glenn Ballistic Impact team. Matt transferred to GCD from leading an aeronautics research element of NASA’s Advanced Composites Program to advance our understanding of composite material response to high-energy impact events.

In addition to his technical commitments, Matt has had a sustained commitment to public outreach and teaching for NASA at all levels of education as well as professional groups. Since 2003, he has delivered dozens of invited lectures, seminars, and conference keynote presentations on mission safety and NASA’s lessons learned from the Columbia tragedy.