Employee Spotlight: Meet Mark J., A Program Manager Working to Get the First Woman on the Moon

March 04, 2021

Mark J. is a triathlete, a veteran, and a program manager for a team working to get the next woman and man on the moon. So, what inspires him to pursue excellence in both his personal and professional life?

Learn more about Mark, and the work he does for SNC.

Mark, please share a little about what you do in your job. What does a “day in the life” look like?
A day in the life of a program manager is difficult to summarize because every day seems to have a mind of its own and take shape as the day progresses.  The short answer is I spend my day making sure progress is moving forward on all my programs.  That means meeting with my design teams, monitoring procurement issues, working closely with key vendors to ensure they are on track to meet their delivery dates and responding to urgent issues or challenges that arise.  Once we get through the design and procurement phases, we move into production, which is always exciting.  This is when the team starts to see the fruits of their labor take shape, but is also a time where we may learn new things about the design that need to be addressed rapidly. 

You’re part of the team working on the HLS Hard Capture System – helping the first woman land on the moon has got to be cool!
Knowing that I’m part of a team working to land the next group of people on the moon is exciting.  The last time anyone walked on the moon was before I was born, so to play a very small part in the next mission is something I am proud of.

You’ve been working on the Common Berthing Mechanism in Japan, why is it important?
I’m currently the program manager for the HTV-X program which is supplying the Passive Common Berthing Mechanism (PCBM), Hatch, Internal Lighting Units (ILU) and Navigation Lights (VRC’s) for three resupply missions to the International Space Station (ISS).  The PCBM is the crucial component mounted to the spacecraft that interfaces to the ISS.  ISS contains the active side, or ACBM, that will engage the passive side with latches and bolts to form an air-tight seal between ISS and the cargo vehicle.  The interface between the ACBM and PCBM is critical to the safety of the astronauts.

Why do you believe it’s critical to explore space?
I think space exploration challenges us to think outside the box to develop new and innovative solutions.  For me, it’s important to work on programs that are making a difference in people’s lives and be proud of the work I’m doing.  Working with SNC provides me that opportunity. 

What’s a fun fact about you?
In 2019, I got involved in the sport of triathlon and immediately got hooked after completing 4 races.  For 2021, I was accepted to be a part of Team Zoot as a brand ambassador and will be racing as a part of their team this year. Though I have several races on the calendar this year that I’m training for, my main race is Ironman Wisconsin 70.3 in September.


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