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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 / Space Exploration
Vehicle, Deep Space Habitat, Waypoint Spacecraft, Exploration Augmentation Module,
Asteroid Retrieval Utilization Mission as well as Mars surface and Phobos mission
studies. Dr. Howard has degrees from Morehouse College, Georgia Tech, North Carolina
A&T State University, and 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.
Within NSBE Professionals, Dr. Howard serves as Director of the Space Special Interest
Group, President of the Houston Space Professionals Chapter, and is Conference Chair of
the Aerospace Systems Conference, Space Technology Session, and Space Leadership
Conference. His vision is to enable the development of an African American space
technological infrastructure – a coordinated body of Black engineering space
professionals committed to utilizing their technical expertise for the betterment of the
Black community and the nation at large.
He has received numerous awards from NASA and community organizations, including
the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, NASA Superior Accomplishment Award,
numerous NASA Group Achievement Awards, the Benjamin Banneker Legacy Award,
The Network Journal’s 40 Under 40 Achievement Award, NSBE Professionals Member
of the Year, NSBE National Distinguished Fellow, NSBE 21st Century Trailblazer in
Aerospace, NSBE Technologist of the Year, and more. He has authored more than two
dozen human spaceflight technical papers, which he has presented at scientific and
engineering conferences across the country.
In his spare time Dr. Howard writes science fiction novels. He recently completed a Star
Trek fanfiction novel and is currently working on a novel set in a universe of his creation
entitled Nubian Star Nation.