The Harding University Department of Engineering and Physics hosted NASA Day at Harding on Jan. 27, featuring NASA Chief Technologist Dr. Douglas Terrier, NASA’s highest ranking technology official and the first NASA chief to visit Arkansas. In recognition of Dr. Terrier’s visit, Governor Asa Hutchinson proclaimed the date NASA Day in Arkansas. You can view the proclamation at governor.arkansas.gov.
During NASA Day at Harding, Dr. Terrier met and made a series of presentations to various groups, including area elementary, middle, junior and high school students, as well as Harding students and faculty. More than 1,000 students from local schools participated on campus. Along with student meetings about NASA programs, jobs and opportunities, Dr. Terrier met with representatives from the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium. The consortium includes 17 four-year universities and colleges throughout Arkansas. The day’s events included the dedication of a plaque recognizing the NASA research conducted at the University from 1967 to present day. A special exhibit titled “Harding and NASA: Through the Years” also displayed grant-funded research beginning with astronaut physical fitness, of benefit to the first moon launch, to Harding’s membership in the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and scientific and technology research that continues today.
The day culminated with a 7 p.m. lecture by Dr. Terrier in Benson Auditorium titled “Forward to the Moon: The NASA Artemis Program” which refers to NASA’s planned return to the moon, including landing the first American woman on the moon by 2024. NASA views the Artemis program as the next step toward the long-term goal of establishing a sustainable presence on the moon, laying the foundation for private companies to build a lunar economy and eventually sending Americans to Mars.
As chief technologist, Terrier is the principal advisor and advocate on NASA technology policy and programs, helping plot the strategic direction of NASA’s space technology program.
Terrier earned a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering and a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Texas. He has completed the Carnegie Mellon Graduate School of Industrial Management Program with the Lockheed Martin Institute for Leadership Excellence, earned the Lockheed Martin “Outstanding Technical Achievement” award on four occasions, several NASA “Superior Technical Accomplishment” awards and the NASA Leadership medal. Terrier also holds patents for his work in aerospace propulsion and has published multiple technical papers.