John Livingston

Mr. John Livingston received his Physics degree in 1960 and began employment with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and served MSFC until and beyond his NASA retirement in 1997.

While at MSFC, Mr. Livingston served on the Space Shuttle Safety Review Panel (12 years) and the Space Station Freedom Safety Panel Board (3 years). During his career with MSFC, he was Chief or Director for System Safety Engineering and received numerous safety-related awards including a NASA Silver Snoopy Award (given by a NASA Astronaut) and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal, all related to excellence in System Safety related to safe space flight.

Following his NASA retirement, Mr. Livingston has continued to make significant contributions to space flight related System Safety, both within NASA and the international system safety community. He was part of a select group to assess Space Shuttle return-to-flight following the Columbia accident. Currently employed by Bastion Technologies Inc., the MSFC Safety and Mission Assurance service contractor, he continues to be a driving force for System Safety serving various offices in the local Tennessee Valley Chapter of System Safety, providing direct support to the Marshall Safety Engineering Review Panel (MSERP) that reviews all Space Shuttle safety processes for preparation and execution of every Space Shuttle flight, and teaches a series of System Safety courses which he developed.

Mr. Livingston distinguished himself through his contributions to providing space safety training to engineers. A strong proponent of lessons learned, he spent many hours in various forums, including the NASA Space Launch and Transportation Systems classes, leading discussions using his firsthand knowledge of the events and lessons associated with the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia mishaps. His discussions of his personal involvement in the system safety program before and following the Challenger mishap were especially powerful and left a lasting mark on his audiences, which will contribute to their performance in the future.

Mr. Livingston was a key member of the development of the MFSC S&MA Professional Development Roadmap Program in which courses and on the job experiences were identified and codified for advancing to various levels of professional expertise within the S&MA disciplines. Mr. Livingston provided not only advice and guidance but also courses and course materials for use as well as serving as a mentor to several system safety engineers who are less experienced. Mr. Livingston has also contributed significantly to NASA’s expansion of the MSFC program to an Agency-wide professional development activity called STEP, Safety and Mission Assurance Technical Excellence Program.

Mr. Livingston was selected as a Fellow of the System Safety Society, the highest recognition the Society pays its members. He also achieved the Senior Member level of the Society, was a program chairman multiple times for the International System Safety Conferences, and has had many System Safety Publications to include a best paper at an International System Safety Conference (this was reprinted in the system safety international journal, “Hazard Prevention”, now “The Journal of System Safety”). (Two examples can be found in the Journals dated May-June, 2009 and Nov-Dec 2008.) He began a series of columns in the Nov-Dec 2008 Journal. He has received several awards at both the local and international levels of the System Safety Society. He is an ever ongoing promoter of System Safety, particularly as it relates to and supports space safety in all its aspects. He is recognized as a NASA “guru” for System Safety, and is frequently involved in training, mentoring and providing expert space safety advice and guidance.

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