1978 grad is PSD Hall of Fame honoree


Col. Eric P. Ross, a 1978 Honors graduate of Petal High School, has been named this year’s 2019 Academic Hall of Fame recipient. 

A graduate of Mississippi State University, Ross earned his Bachelor of Science, Electrical Engineering degree specializing in high voltage power systems and digital computer systems. He earned his Master of Science  from the University of Southern Mississippi and furthered his education in the U.S. Air Force Air Command and Staff College as well as Air War College in 2006 and NASA Systems Engineering Leadership Development Program Graduate in 2012.

During a  27-year career with NASA at Stennis Space Center, Ross participated in numerous assignments in Center Operations, Propulsion Tests, the Office of the Chief Engineer, and the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance.

He is the founding member of an advocate team to develop and launch the SSC Systems Engineering and the Project Management (SEPM) Leadership Development Program, intended to develop “enterprise perspective” leaders prepared to manage the technical and business challenges of the future.  His efforts culminated in the selection of candidates into the first class of the program. He was elected to participate in NASA Model-Based Systems Engineering Pathfinder to help the agency better align MBSE across centers, develop a user/practitioner community, and capture issues/opportunities for evaluating next steps.  As a member of the Architectures and Mission Campaigns team, he was tasked to develop a model to simulate the decision process needed to establish a permanent human presence on Mars.  His team paper, “Modeling to Mars: a NASA Model Based Systems Engineering Pathfinder Effort,” was published by AIAA in 2017.  

Ross was lead Systems Engineer for the Space Launch SystemCore Stage Green Run Test Project where he was responsible for collecting test facility requirements from the NASA Program Office at Marshall Space Flight Center, the rocket core stage manufacturer (Boeing), NASA Launch Operations at Kennedy Space Center and other stakeholders and compiling them into an approved facility requirements document used to drive the design for modifications to the B-2 Test Stand and to ensure Test Operations personnel operate the facility and collect the data necessary to support the combined system validation tests of this new rocket stage that will propel humans beyond low earth orbit to the Moon and Mars.

His awards and accomplishments are numerous and include:

• Eagle Scout – 1977

• Meritorious Service Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters 

• Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

• Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal

• Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon with Gold Border

• Air Force Commendation Medal 

• Armed Forces Reserve Medal with 4 Mobilization devices and 1 Silver Hourglass device

• National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star device

• NASA Systems Engineering Leadership Development Program Graduate – 12

• Numerous NASA/John C. Stennis Space Center performance and achievement awards

• NASA Educator Astronaut Program Development Team Member – helped select K-12 teachers for the NASA astronaut program

• Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management Engineering Leadership Development Program, with developmental assignment as Lead Systems Engineer in the Mission Design Center at Ames Research Center.

• Selected to serve on the NASA Educator Astronaut Program Development Team, January – June 2003 where he also served as the team member assigned to help develop programs to recruit K-12 educators to become full-time astronauts. Ross developed multi-media presentations for national distribution.