2013/2014 Presentations

The following information catalogs presentations and materials from speakers at the NAL Florida Chapter luncheons for the 2013-2014 year.

Rich Nelson, Program Chair
 November 19, 2013:  R.G. Van Treuren  
Airships: Past, Present and Future:
Perhaps no element of aerospace is more misunderstood – and less appreciated – than Lighter-Than-Air (LTA). Thanks in part to a constant stream of misleading and incomplete information  in the media, as well as long-classified war records and research projects,  public perception of buoyant flight is one of a “transitory” technology.  In fact, without displacing winged or rotary flight, airships should be performing tasks impossible by other means.
R.G. Van Treuren was born in Ohio in 1951, was raised near Cleveland, and joined the US Navy in 1969. He served on the USS Roosevelt (CVA-42) with VA-176, and the AIMD on the USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63).
Introduced to the Space Shuttle as he was finishing his tour at Pt. Mugu, California, Van Treuren joined the Space Shuttle Orbiter contractor team in 1979. Van Treuren married the former Deborah Pelzer in 1982 and built a geodesic dome home near Edgewater, Florida.  He concluded the Shuttle program as a senior Astronaut Crew Changeout technician (16-1) with the United Space Alliance, serving at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida and Edwards AFB, California.
Van Treuren has produced articles, books and videos on the subject of airship history. His many technical and historical papers given in several countries have exposed little-known aspects of LTA history. Working with television contractors and producers on airship-oriented programs, Van Treuren has been instrumental in public domain footage location, historical research, and has occasionally appeared in the programs.
Van Treuren currently serves as Editor of the Noon Balloon, magazine of the Naval Airship Association. He is a contributing member to every airship-oriented organization and museum in the world, including Airship Association (UK), LTA Society (US), Airship Heritage Trust (UK), Lighter-Than-Air Institute (NZ), and Friends of the Zeppelin Museum (Germany). Van Treuren’s current project is a motion picture speculating on the early conduct of the Pacific theatre of World War II had the rigid airship been included.

NoteThe Naval Airship Association promotes the history, education, applications, and technology of lighter-than-air (LTA) vehicles including balloons, blimps, dirigibles, zeppelins, and other airships. Despite its name, membership in the Naval Airship Association requires no naval affiliation and is open to anyone. Membership includes full website access and a subscription to our excellent quarterly publication, The Noon Balloon, in addition to the latest LTA news. 


October 15, 2013:  Jim Kennedy, Former KSC Center Director.

 Mr, Kennedy provided an outstanding presentation that explored several of the 52 tips on Leadership that he shares through space-related examples and true stories.  You can learn more about his work on his website at http://www.weneedourspace.com/.


The son of a true space pioneer, Jim Kennedy and family moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida in 1953. He graduated from Cocoa Beach High School in 1967 and went on to graduate from Auburn University in 1972 in Mechanical Engineering. He worked as a cooperative education student at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) from 1968-1969, and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) from 1969-1972. These formative years on the Space Coast created in him a passion for Space Exploration. He then pursued a career path that would begin with the Apollo Program and continue on to the Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) Programs.

After graduating from Auburn University, Kennedy served in the U.S. Air Force (1972-1976) and earned a Masters of Business Administration at Georgia Southern University in 1977. After three years of design engineering work with Emerson Electric Company, he accepted a permanent job with NASA at MSFC in 1980, working on the Space Shuttle, Solid Rocket Booster (SRB) project. The succeeding 22 years at MSFC would see him grow as an engineer and leader in key positions including; SRB Project Manager, DC-XA Project Manager, Director of Engineering and Deputy Center Director.
In 2002, NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe, asked Kennedy to relocate to KSC as the Deputy Center Director, soon to be promoted to be the Director in 2003. The four years as Director following the tragic loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia saw the shuttle safely return to flight and continue the assembly of the ISS. Under Kennedy’s leadership, KSC successfully completed 15 launches of satellites and robots currently exploring our universe with high profile missions such as Spirit and Opportunity to Mars and Pluto New Horizons.

Mr. Kennedy retired from NASA in 2007 having served 36 years with the U.S. Government. He is the recipient of numerous awards and decorations, including the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, Presidential Rank Awards of both Meritorious and Distinguished Service, and many more. Retirement has seen many opportunities for the Kennedys to promote public awareness and advocacy for space exploration as a guest lecturer in the cruise ship industry, touring with Mannheim Steamroller’s space concert entitled, “Music of the Spheres”, guest speaker on space exploration to numerous schools and universities as well as other interested groups. He also serves as a consultant to the aerospace industry and board member for several space related organizations.

Mr. Kennedy resides in Cocoa Beach, Florida in a condo overlooking both Cape Canaveral and KSC. He and his lovely wife, Bernadette (Gomez), enjoy traveling and spending time with their family including his mother, Bonnie Mahon, son Jeff and his wife Meredith and their children Gracen and Libba Jayne, daughter Jamie and husband Jason and their children Hayes and Becca.


September 17, 2013:  Lou Martinez, Martinez Engineering & Management Services, Inc. 

Mr. Lou Martinez spoke on very short notice, providing a most interesting and enlightening insight into the design and construction of the prison facility at Guantanamo, Cuba.

Louis Martinez

Louis Martinez

Owner and President, Martinez Engineering & Management Services, Inc

  1. Martinez Engineering & Management Services, Inc
  1. KBR,
  2. Brown & Root,
  3. US Army Corps of Engineers
  1. The Johns Hopkins University
Project Management, Marketing, Business Development, and Construction Management for such companies as Hensel Phelps, Parsons, PBS&J, BRPH Engineers, Olgoonik Development Corporation, BE&K, and KBR. Project Management Consultant for the US Army Corps of Engineers Hurricane Protection Office in New Orleans.

Senior Vice President KBR

Profit/Loss responsibility for $ 750 MM in design and construction annually, worldwide. Typical projects include the Kabul Embassy, GTMO Detainee Facilities, dozens of Job Order Contracts throughout the US, and $ 500 MM annually in construction in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guam, and the US.

Kellogg Brown & Root

Vice PresidentKellogg Brown & Root

Profit & Loss responsibility for $ 500 MM in construction projects annually world wide. Typical projects include the Alaska JOC, Louisville JOC, and Baltimore MATOC for the US Army Corps of Engineers; JOC’s for the Houston, Atlanta, and Charlotte Schood Districts; the NAVFAC CONCAP, and $ 200 MM in design build construction of ATFP upgrades world wide for the Department of State.

Project ManagerBrown & Root

Managed $ 10 MM annually in engineering and construction consulting contracts for the Corps of Engineers. Typical projects were the Hurricane Mitch Program in Honduras, environmental programs world wide, and construction management a military installations in the Southeast US.

OfficerUS Army Corps of Engineers

US Army

Helicopter PilotUS Army

Languages – Spanish


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