SPACE CENTER, Miss. --
Haynes Haselmaier is an integral part of NASA's John C. Stennis Space
Center Propulsion Test Directorate as a design expert and consultant
for unique high-pressure valves. And thanks to The University of Southern
Mississippi and the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), he can
continue to be that all-important moving part in the propulsion-testing
30 years, Haselmaier has met engineering challenges for NASA as
either a contractor or subcontractor, working out problems in the
rocket propulsion systems that drive America's space program. Over
the years, Haselmaier's employer changed as government contracts
were awarded to different companies, often limiting his contribution
based on that particular contract. About two years ago, NASA and
Haselmaier came to Southern Miss for a solution.
Under the IPA,
Haselmaier is paid by NASA through Southern Miss for his very specialized
expertise. As a Southern Miss employee, Haselmaier has a stable
employer with secure benefits and NASA has flexibility in their
ability to share Haselmaier's talents among NASA centers or with
contractors working for the space agency.
Miss, I have a home," said Haselmaier. "My position is
stable and it's flexible to my customer."
A very recent
example of the payoff for this kind of flexibility is how Haselmaier
solved a valve problem that had stymied two test projects at Stennis,
one of those supporting the Space Shuttle's return to flight activities.
recommended redesign of the valve's thrust washer," said Miguel
A. Rodriguez, director of NASA's Propulsion Test Directorate at
Stennis. "He coordinated the design change and parts manufacture,
supervised the valve build-up, and coordinated and participated
in the design verification testing, exhibiting outstanding personal
commitment that was critical to the timely resolution of this issue."
Haselmaier is an outstanding asset in our organization," Rodriguez
said. In fact, Haselmaier received a U. S. patent in April for his
seal ring installation tool created on the job at Stennis. Designed
to facilitate the installation of a primary seal ring between the
hub ends of pipe flanges, the tool provides proper alignment of
a seal ring without causing contamination or damage to the components,
while eliminating potential injury to the installer.
Dr. Cecil Burge,
associate vice president for research and technology transfer at
Southern Miss, said he understands the importance of the work IPAs
provide for NASA and other governmental agencies located at Stennis
utilize the IPA for many reasons," Burge said. "Frequently,
they have the need to acquire very specialized personnel in a compressed
time frame. At other times, the IPA arrangement provides a more
managerially efficient and flexible operation. The Stennis (Space)
Center complex is a tremendous economic asset for south Mississippi.
At Southern Miss, we always try to accommodate our Stennis agencies
in any way at our disposal. At the same time, the IPAs broaden the
expertise and perspective of our research community."
the IPA keeps him on a job he loves. Haselmaier is also excited
about the prospect of future research with Southern Miss if the
see one day replacing some of the older plastics in these valves
with new polymers," he said. "If so, we could reach back
into that group at Southern Miss for that type of expertise."