Celebrating Pride: Meet Bob Lutz

At NASA, diversity and inclusion drive workplace creativity, innovation and mission success. For #PrideMonth we’re celebrating the stories of our #LGBTQ community.

Bob Lutz skiing in St. Anton, Austria.

What is your role at NASA?
I’m a computer engineer. I’m presently leading a task performing sustaining engineering for flight software on launched Earth and space science missions. I had worked for 10 years in the development of ground systems for two weather satellites: the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite and the Joint Polar Satellite System. I’m also Co-Chair of the LGBT Advisory Committee and a long-time member of the Engineering and Technology Directorate Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

How long have you worked here?
I worked 18 years a contractor and 19 years as a civil servant.

What is your background/what did you do before working at NASA?
I have a Bachelor and Master’s Degrees in Meteorology and Oceanography and a PhD in Remote Sensing – Geography. Before coming to NASA I was a graduate student at University of Maryland.

Why did you chose to work at NASA and what makes you stay?
I worked at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) when I was a graduate student in NYC. I have always been interested in the Earth and space sciences. I am a lifer here – I enjoy the campus-like atmosphere and the ability to grow intellectually by attending seminars and interacting with scientists and engineers with different backgrounds and expertise.

What has been your favorite project or memory from your time here?
My favorite project was supporting the establishment of a field experiment in the boreal forests of Canada (BOREAS) led by Piers Sellers (who became an astronaut). We had to bushwhack through the dense boreal forest with compasses to find the optimal place to build air chemical flux towers to be used in the experiment. Fun work, but not exactly your typical NASA-type work!

Why is working in a diverse environment critical to our mission?
Here at NASA we solve problems – lots of them are hard! People with different backgrounds and different ways of thinking contribute to a solution set that maximizes our chance for success.

What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy spending time with my partner Brian, where we have been together almost 34 years. We’re now living and having fun in DC. I’m also an avid skier (30 plus days a year), and I enjoy the outdoors – hiking, camping, biking and kayaking.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Having travelled quite a bit in Europe since we ski there – something very different – like seeing the pyramids.

What is your proudest accomplishment (personal or professional)?
Being successful in a long-term relationship, obtaining my PhD and running and completing the Marine Corps Marathon twice.

Is there anything else you would like to add?
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) is a great place to work and a big shout of appreciation to the leadership at GSFC in supporting LGBT as well as Diversity and Inclusion issues.

Ready to explore the extraordinary? View all of our current vacancies at nasa.usajobs.gov.

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