In a career dedicated to our nation’s civil space and missile defense programs, Jon Sharpe developed and implemented innovative solutions to challenging problems, along the way strengthening human spaceflight capabilities and contributing to improved national and allied security.
With a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The University of Alabama, Sharpe began work with Lockheed Martin in Louisiana supporting development of advanced materials and process technologies for space vehicles. He later earned a master’s degree in engineering management from the Florida Institute of Technology.
Early in his career, transferring to Huntsville, Alabama, with Lockheed Martin, he led research, developmental, test and production efforts including establishment of a Materials Research Laboratory; development of advanced, environmentally compliant cryogenic insulation systems; production of flight composite nose cones for the space shuttle’s External Tank; support to Internal Research and Development of liquid oxygen compatible composites, composite fiber placement processes and reusable thermal protection systems; as well as management of Test Operations.
Sharpe was instrumental in establishing a commercial operation for thermal protection coating processing; served as Test Team Lead for the Columbia Accident Investigation, External Tank efforts focused at determining most probable cause for the Columbia Accident; and supported the “Return to Flight” efforts for the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2005.
Throughout the life of the Space Shuttle Program, Sharpe provided support to more than 100 launches, ultimately serving as director of Lockheed Martin’s Civil Space operations at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and Lockheed Martin’s chief engineer at the Huntsville Operations Support Center. As director, he managed multiple engineering disciplines and functional areas.
In 2010, he was named the Huntsville Site director and director of Weapon Systems Integration for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Missile Systems and Advanced Programs business unit. Sharpe oversees operations of the Huntsville site with over 600 employees and teammates.
Sharpe is a recipient of the coveted Silver Snoopy Award, given by astronauts to NASA personnel and contractors for outstanding performance, contributing to flight safety and mission success. His team was also selected for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Stratospheric Ozone Protection Award.
Professionally, he is a member the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Lockheed Martin Leadership Association, and serves on the UA College of Engineering Advisory Board and the UA Industrial Advisory Board for the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics.
Sharpe lives in Huntsville with his wife, Lacey. They have three children.