Steven J. Wofford
Steven J. Wofford has worked on spacecraft engines for the past 31 years in a career spent working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and its outside contractors.
Born in Festus, Missouri, and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, Wofford earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Alabama in 1986.
In 1992, he received his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. His master’s thesis was titled, “Effects of Shrink Fit, Speed, and Thermal Stress on Roller Bearing Inner Ring Fatigue Life.”
Wofford spent the first 13 years of his career with NASA contractor organizations, Calspan Corporation and Hernandez Engineering, Inc., working in support of the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) project, which included the return to flight recertification effort post-Challenger.
In 2000, Wofford began working for NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center as the subsystem manager for the SSME project office. One of his biggest accomplishments in this position was conceiving and leading a program to improve fabrication of the SSME thrust chamber nozzle.
Wofford moved to the Constellation Program in 2005 and held lead positions for the Ares I Launch Vehicle and the Ares V Launch Vehicle. Following his time in that program, he continued to work for NASA as chief safety and mission assurance officer for Space Shuttle Propulsion, deputy manager of the SSME project, and business office manager and deputy director of the Safety and Mission Assurance Directorate.
Currently, Wofford serves as the liquid engines element manager in the Space Launch System (SLS) program. He is responsible for all aspects of liquid engine implementations for SLS, which includes design, development, test and flight of both the core stage and upper stage engines. Wofford’s office recently completed engineering work and all rocket engine testing to certify the heritage RS-25 engine for flight on the SLS core stage.
He has received several awards including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal. Outside of work, Wofford has been active in Aldersgate United Methodist Church and is a former Cub Scout leader and youth sports coach.
Wofford and his wife Marisa live in Huntsville, Alabama, and the couple have two children, Samuel and Adam.