National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Richard Verbus

The topic of Richard Verbus’ presentation — corporate structuring and the acquisition of the Analex Corporation by QinetiQ PLC — wasn’t the first choice for many of the aerospace and mechanical engineering interns, but we gave him our fullest attention.

His talk started out with a basic overview of his career. After graduating college, he worked at a nuclear plant in charge of the high pressure steam vent system. A reoccurring problem of exploding pipes on his end plagued him for the first few weeks of his new career. But after realizing that supercritical globs of pressurized water were striking and vibrating the vent manifold, he was able to come up with a rather clever solution. A necking valve placed upstream of the manifold compressed and then rapidly expanded the supercritical steam to flash vaporize any undesired globs of fluid that formed under the immense pressure and temperature. After this triumph, Rick proceeded for a number of years to climb his way up to a managerial position at the plant and found himself in need of a MBA.

Returning to school and obtaining his degree, he eventually received a position at Analex Corporation, where he managed engineering contracts with the Glenn Research Center. However a British agency named QinetiQ PLC acquired Analex through a proxy agreement to expanded services into North America. Now Rick fulfills the role of Program Manager for Glenn Engineering and Scientific Services and has played part in the development of the Ares I faux second stage and TALON bomb disposal robots.

The remainder of the talk covered the organizational structure of QinetiQ PLC and their arrangement through the United States proxy agreement. The proxy agreement currently serves as a filter to moderate national secrets that may be transferred by a single agency operating in two distinct nations. Furthermore, that fact that QinetiQ PLC manages aerospace and other scientific services for both the United States and Great Britain can make international travel somewhat scrupulous for engineers and managers.