Biography: W. Jerry Patterson

W. Jerry Patterson had a 32-year career at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL, where he was involved in developing nonmetallic (polymeric) materials for launch vehicles and space flight hardware. For the last 13 years of his career, he served as a technical manager of engineers and scientists responsible for the development and qualification of advanced, innovative nonmetallic materials for major programs, including the Space Shuttle, the International Space Station, and the Hubble Space Telescope.

Following retirement, Patterson served as an expert technical consultant to NASA for 2 years supporting the shuttle return-to-flight program following its reentry accident. He also worked part-time for 3 years as a technical consultant in the area of nonmetallic materials.

Patterson holds a B.S. degree in chemistry and an M.S. degree in organic chemistry from Mississippi State University (Starkville). He earned a Ph.D. in organic and polymer chemistry from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa). He was a contributor to the Heart Cut department in CHEMTECH and Chemical Innovation magazines from 1996 to 2001, and he has continued in the online version (now Noteworthy Chemistry) since then. He served as a technical editor for Heart Cut for 3 years.