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Pam Caruso

BSChE ‘80

After spending 35 years working for the Department of Defense, NASA and the chemical industry, Pam Caruso retired from engineering last year.

Caruso earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The University of Alabama in 1980, and a master’s degree in environment engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1995.

The Huntsville, Alabama, native began her career as a research engineer for DOW Chemical in Plaquemine, Louisiana, where she worked on hydroxypropylmethylcellulose. Two years later, she moved back to Huntsville and worked as an engineer in several Army organizations including the Army Missile Command, the Space and Missile Defense Command and the Program Executive Office Global Protection Against Limited Strikes.

Caruso spent 25 years working on many Army programs, including several missile defense programs, both kinetic and directed energy, and large software and simulation programs. During her time with the Army, she transitioned into the role of division chief of the Combat Applications Division of the Battle Laboratory for the Army Space and Missile Defense Command.

She spent five years in the division chief position before she started the Total Defender Program, which was a futures program providing analysis, research and seminars looking at how missile defense can be used from both a tactics and strategic standpoint. The Army Total Defender program provided an intellectual process for multiple agencies, services and organizations to look at how their various roles in missile defense could be integrated on the future battlefield.

In 2007, Caruso moved to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where she worked as the technical assistant to the director of engineering in the Engineering Directorate. A year later she became the manager of the Engineering Technical Management Office in the Engineering Directorate at Marshall. Caruso later reprised her role as technical assistant to the director of engineering for three more years before she retired in January 2016.

Caruso has served on the board of directors for the Tennessee Valley Chapter of the National Defense Industrial Association, the Redstone Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army as well as the Air, Space and Missile Defense Association. During her career, she received several awards including the Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, Army Award for Superior Civilian Service and the NASA Director’s Award.

Her hobbies include gardening, needlework and keeping up with friends and family. She lives in Huntsville and has three children, Scott Jr. (Mandy), Jake (Cristina), William (Samantha), and two grandchildren, Ben and JJ, and is looking forward to two more grandchildren this year.