Alumnus recognized by Space Technology Hall of Fame


Craig McClung (MS TAM 1984, PhD ME 1988) was honored for his work on NASGRO, software that analyzes fatigue crack growth and fracture in structure and mechanical components.

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Recipients of the Space Technology Hall of Fame induction. Developers of the NASGRO software.
Honorees at the Space Technology Hall of Fame banquet. From left: Vanessa Wyche, Director of NASA's Johnson Space Center; Joachim Beek, NASGRO lead at NASA JSC; Craig McClung; Joe Cardinal, developer at SwRI; and Tom Zelibor, CEO of the Space Foundation.  Photo by the Space Foundation. 

A suite of software developed by MechSE alumnus Craig McClung (MS TAM 1984, PhD ME 1988) has been inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame. McClung, who was Professor Huseyin Sehitoglu’s first graduate student, was honored at the annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs in April.

The honor was bestowed on the technology itself – the NASGRO software – and the core leadership team at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and NASA’s Johnson Space Center. McClung is the Program Director in the Materials Engineering Department in the Mechanical Engineering Division at SwRI, where he has worked since 1988. His colleague at SwRI, Joe Cardinal, was also recognized.

NASGRO, originally developed by NASA and currently managed by SwRI, analyzes fatigue crack growth and fracture in structures and mechanical components. It is a key tool used to substantiate the structural integrity of aircraft, spacecraft, rotorcraft, gas turbine engines, pressure vessels and other safety critical hardware.

McClung and the other core developers at SwRI and NASA had previously received an R&D100 Award and the NASA Software of the Year Award, both in 2003, for their work on NASGRO.

“I’m very honored to be recognized by the Space Technology Hall of Fame,” McClung said. “NASGRO is a truly collaborative effort. It has been a privilege to work with so many talented people over the years, improving this technology so it can continue to make aircraft, spacecraft, and other critical structures safer.”

Read the full press release from SwRI >>  

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This story was published July 14, 2023.