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Barrios Recognizes Employees with Quarterly Performance Awards

JOHNSON SPACE CENTER (Houston, TX): Barrios Technology recently presented employees with Silver BEAR (Barrios Employee Award and Recognition) awards. Each recipient was commended for their high level of expertise and outstanding performance supporting Barrios’ contracts with NASA’s International Space Station (ISS) Program and Boeing on the Boeing Technical Service (BETS) Contract. Employees recognized included Amanda Botti, Mark Cutshaw, David Held, and Todd Nereng.

Amanda Botti was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for her expertise and dedication in providing NASA key information related to stowage, crew time, and trash handling on the ISS. Stowage space and trash build up are two important factors when flying astronauts on the ISS. NASA uses the Cygnus vehicle to bring materials to the station and bring trash down. Cygnus is also used for the science research experiment call Saffire. The Saffire mission, which is a flame experiment conducted on the Cygnus vehicle post-ISS mission, uses a significant amount of the down mass volume in Cygnus vehicle. This usage of space has resulted in propagating stowage issues based on the trash accumulation rates that the ISS will soon face due to flying Saffire missions and increased crew on-orbit. Amanda conducted a multi-faceted analysis of trash, stowage, and crew time impacts. The type of analysis was one of a kind and required new analytical methods. More than 30 iterations of the analysis were performed to accommodate evolving NASA requirements. The Saffire analysis Botti delivered to the NASA customer has given them much needed insight into the coming stowage and trash overflow issues that the ISS will soon face. Amanda created a new analysis structure and type, which can be used in the future and productized for future work with NASA.

Mark Cutshaw was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for his outstanding work on multiple software development projects critical to the ISS program and Boeing’s commercial space program. Cutshaw contributed to the ISS Program Requirements Baseline and Integration Tool (ORBIT). ORBIT provides a set of integrate electronic tools to support Payload (P/L) development and operation. Cutshaw’s work to develop Application Programming Interfaces (API) within ORBIT provided significant benefits aimed at creating efficiencies during the entire P/L lifecycle. Cutshaw’s work recently received positive feedback from the user community regarding his work to automate the ORBIT Flight Status Data report replacing a tedious manual task. Cutshaw was also recognized for his quick turnaround on Boeing’s commercial vehicle CST100 Mustang video Flight Software (FSW) development. The Mustang project was a last minute effort by The Boeing Company to capture video during the CST100 Starliner flights. Mark developed almost the entire FSW for the Orbital Flight Test (OFT) within the time frame of six-weeks, accomplishing an impressive achievement that many thought impossible.

David Held was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for his knowledge, dedication, and leadership on the Visiting Vehicle Engineer (VVE) Team. Held provided leadership by leading cargo flights, training new hires, and mentoring less experienced team members. He was the first VVE to take on the responsibility to lead both ascent and descent of a Cygnus cargo mission. In addition, Held has functioned as the lead for two missions simultaneously, Northrop Grumman NG-11 and NG-12. NASA has looked to Held for support as schedules were accelerated for NG-11 disposal activities, and with the NG-12 over subscription. Held helped to revolutionize the manner in which waste hardware is tracked and approved for disposal resulting in efficiencies for the team. Held, an experienced flight lead, is the “go to guy” in the group for outside organizations who have question about flights or the status of their hardware. The NASA customer acknowledges Held’s professionalism and often asks to have him paired with newer civil servants for orientation. Held recently guided a new NASA Visiting Vehicle lead along through the team’s processes.

Todd Nereng was recognized with a Silver BEAR award for his outstanding work on multiple projects critical to the ISS program, specifically the ISS Water Storage System (WSS) controller development and the Urine Transfer System (UTS) controller development. Both WSS and UTS are life support system experiments where ISS is being utilized as a test bed for deep space exploration systems development. Both systems were developed with minimized cost targets therefore efficiency in both the design and development was paramount for the success of each project. Countless hours were spent testing and verifying both the controllers and the flight software ensuring both were thoroughly tested to the fullest extent possible. When problems were uncovered late in the program schedule, Nereng demonstrated full integrity by identifying the issues and leading the effort to engineer a corrected design or software change thus ensuring the team could meet the schedule and deliver the highest quality product. He showed great innovation and dedication by stepping into the role of overseer taking full responsibility for the controller software development and testing as well as the overall system development. He showed tremendous dedication to both projects continuing to work long hours to ensure schedule milestones were met with testing performed to the fullest extent possible.

The Barrios Employee Awards and Recognition or BEAR Award recognizes quality performance and outstanding support of customer and company goals. Up to one percent of the current number of employees can receive the Silver Award each quarter. Silver award winners automatically qualify for the annual Gold award which is presented at an annual awards and recognition reception.

Mark Cutshaw and Todd Nereng were presented with a Silver BEAR awards. Pictured from left: Sandy Johnson, CEO Barrios Technology; Cutshaw; Nereng; Jonathan Perez, Barrios Technology BETS Program Manager; and Robbie McAfoos, President Barrios Technology.

Amanda Botti and David Held were presented with a Silver BEAR awards. Pictured from left: Robbie McAfoos, President Barrios Technology; Botti; Held; Sandy Johnson, CEO Barrios Technology; and Mark Polansky, Barrios Technology MAPI Program Manager.

About Us:

Headquartered in Houston, Barrios Technology is a woman-owned AS9100 certified engineering services company specializing in aerospace engineering & science, program planning & control, mission integration & operations, and software engineering & integration. Since 1980, Barrios has demonstrated their corporate mission to be the foremost small aerospace engineering services company providing extraordinary value to our customers, employees and communities. For more information on Barrios Technology, please call 281-280-1900 or visit

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