Robert Howard

NASA JSC, Habitability Design Center Manager

Dr. Robert Howard is the lab manager for NASA’s Habitability Design Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. He leads a team of architects, industrial designers, engineers and usability experts to develop and evaluate concepts for spacecraft cabin and cockpit configurations. He has served on design teams for several NASA spacecraft study teams including the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, Orion Capsule Parachute Assembly System, Altair Lunar Lander, Lunar Electric Rover / Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle, Deep Space Habitat, Waypoint Spacecraft, Exploration Augmentation Module, Asteroid Retrieval Utilization Mission, Mars Ascent Vehicle, Deep Space Gateway, as well as Mars surface and Phobos mission studies.

Dr. Howard has a Bachelor of Science in General Science from Morehouse College and a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech. He holds a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering with a focus in Human Factors from North Carolina A&T State University and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering with a focus in Spacecraft Engineering from the University of Tennessee Space Institute. He also holds a certificate in Human Systems Integration from the Naval Postgraduate School and is a graduate of the NASA Space Systems Engineering Development Program.

Outside of work, Dr. Howard is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers where he serves as Director of the Space Special Interest Group. The Space SIG is a nationwide network of volunteer African American space professionals committed to a quest to make targeted contributions to the nation’s public and private space capabilities. The NSBE Space team is engaged in diverse projects such as design of a long range lunar rover, a feasibility study for rocket launch facilities in east Africa, wireless power beaming, robotics, and space policy. Dr. Howard is also President of the Houston Space Professionals Chapter and serves as Conference Chairs of the NSBE Aerospace Systems Conference, Space Technology Session, and Space Project Management Meeting.