Knotts to deliver 2022 Statler College Commencement Address
Barrios Technology Vice President of Commercial Spaceflight Kerri Knotts, a 1994 graduate of West Virginia University, will be the speaker for the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources 2022 Commencement Ceremony. The ceremony will take place on Saturday, May 14, at 4 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.
Story by Adrianne Uphold, Multimedia Specialist
In 2020, Knotts joined Barrios Technology—a leading engineering and operations contractor for NASA for over four decades, now collaborating with commercial space companies to enable a thriving space economy.
Prior to joining Barrios Technology, she spent 20 years advancing human space flight at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She helped design, test and orchestrate the construction of the International Space Station. Knotts trained astronauts on the systems, procedures and hardware they would use in space during complex missions as a certified NASA flight controller in the Mission Control Center for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.
Knotts was an instrumental part in the success of many missions’ critical operations as NASA’s STS-98 lead extravehicular activities officer by developing mission plans, integrating programmatic and mission objectives, launching and executing critical flight activities. She was part of many studies, projects and programs related to moon and Mars Exploration under the NASA Constellation Program.
Knotts led a foundational study to develop an evolvable space suit system for low earth orbit, the moon and Mars as a systems engineer and integration lead and deputy manager for advanced spacesuit development. She also led a technical team of experts setting requirements for new exploration outposts as chief of the advanced development and integration office in the NASA Constellation Program.
Knotts left NASA for private industry first as CEO at a Houston-based start-up fuel-additives company. She then went on to found and co-found multiple start-ups servicing the oil and gas drilling industry in the Appalachian region and held roles as managing partner, managing director and president. Knotts is an active Statler College alumna who graduated with a bachelor’s in aerospace engineering.
Knotts was elected to the WVU Foundation Board of Directors in 2021 and is a current member of the Statler College Visiting Committee, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Advisory Committee and an Eminent Engineer inductee in the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society.
Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit
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