|James F. Clawson
PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109. TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: Diane Ainsworth
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDecember 23, 1997
CLAWSON RECEIVES QUALITY ASSURANCE AWARD FOR NASA'S MARS
James F. Clawson, manager of the Jet Propulsion
Laboratory's Reliability Office, has received NASA's 1997 "Best
of the Best" Quality Assurance Special Achievement Recognition
(QASAR) award for his leadership in the implementation of
innovative, low-cost engineering approaches for the Mars
Clawson, who led the project effort to structure and
implement the Mars Pathfinder Mission Assurance Program, was
responsible for risk management and streamlined engineering
procedures and teaming to assure the success of the nation's
first landing on Mars in more than 20 years.
"Jim personally led the project effort to establish a low-
cost, rapid development concept for Mars Pathfinder and left a
faster, better, cheaper legacy for future projects," said JPL
Director Dr. Edward Stone. "The Pathfinder mission assurance
innovations saved the project approximately $8 million compared
to the cost of using more conventional approaches. This savings
allowed the project to achieve its challenging mission objective
within a very constraining cost cap."
The QASAR award recognizes individuals within NASA or other
government agencies and prime contractors and subcontractors for
significant quality improvements to products or services for
NASA. NASA Headquarters and all NASA centers have local QASAR
award programs. Annually the "Best of the Best" in each award
category is chosen for agencywide recognition.
During spacecraft development, Clawson was the mission
assurance manager, overseeing key elements such as electronic
parts engineering, reliability engineering, environmental
requirements, hardware and software quality assurance and system
safety. His major challenge was to develop a low- cost mission
assurance approach with acceptable risks. Clawson is also
chairman of JPL's Lessons Learned Committee, which addresses
issues in interplanetary space exploration.
Clawson joined JPL in 1985, after spending 18 years at the
Johnson Space Center, Houston, as a thermal control team leader
for the space shuttle orbiter program and working on thermal
analysis of the Apollo Lunar Program. He supported the Apollo 11
mission, watching actual data from the first piloted lunar
landing. Prior to his position as Mars Pathfinder mission
assurance manager, Clawson was the technical group supervisor of
the Thermal Environments Group at JPL, which defined
environmental and test levels for interplanetary missions.
During his early career, from 1958 to 1967, Clawson was with
the Boeing Company, Seattle, working on such projects as the X-20
"Dyna-Soar" spacecraft, a predecessor of the space shuttle; the
Short Range Attack Missile project; and the Minuteman
intercontinental ballistic missile program. He also worked
extensively in thermal and structural laboratory testing.
Clawson holds a bachelor of science degree in mechanical
engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle, having
graduated in 1961 magna cum laude, and went on to do graduate
work there in heat transfer and thermodynamics. He is a member of
Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society.
Clawson and his wife, Mary, live in Altadena, CA.