Dr. Sandra H. “Sandy” Magnus was the former Deputy Director for Engineering within the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. She served as the DoD’s Chief Engineer for Advanced Capabilities. In this role, she was the lead for engineering policy, practice, and the DoD engineering workforce, as well as digital engineering and systems of systems engineering initiatives. She leads mission integration management, independent technical risk assessments, and program planning and execution.
Formerly the Principal of AstroPlanetview, LLC, Dr. Magnus is also the former Executive Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession.
Selected to the NASA Astronaut Corps in April 1996, Dr. Magnus flew on the STS-112 shuttle mission in 2002 and on the final shuttle flight, STS-135, in 2011. She flew to the International Space Station on STS-126 in November 2008 and served 4 months on board as flight engineer and science officer. Following her assignment on Station, she served at NASA Headquarters in the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate and as the deputy chief of the Astronaut Office.
While at NASA, Dr. Magnus worked with the international community, including the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), as well as with Brazil on facility-type payloads. She spent time in Russia developing and integrating operational products and procedures for the International Space Station.
Before joining NASA, Dr. Magnus worked for McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company as a stealth engineer. She worked on internal research and development and on the Navy’s A-12 Attack Aircraft program, studying the effectiveness of radar signature reduction techniques.
Dr. Magnus is a recipient of the NASA Space Flight Medal and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, among other awards.
Dr. Magnus received a bachelor of science in physics and a master of science in electrical engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. She received a Ph.D. in engineering from the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology in 1996.