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Michoud Leadership

Robert H. Champion
Director NASA Michoud Assembly Facility

Robert H. Champion is the director of the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Named to the position in June 2019, Champion oversees one of the world’s largest manufacturing facilities where important elements of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft are being built. He manages an annual operating budget of $60 million, more than two million square feet of manufacturing space, and 829 acres of land at the multi-tenant facility. More than 3,000 federal, state, academic, and technology-based industry employees work at Michoud.

Prior to this role, Champion served as deputy director of Marshall’s Propulsion Systems Department from October 2015 to 2019. From 2014 to 2015, he was deputy of Marshall’s Space Systems Department.

In 2010, Champion was appointed deputy director and chief operating officer for Michoud. That same year, he completed NASA’s Senior Executive Service (SES) Candidate Development Program. Members of the SES operate and oversee nearly every government activity in approximately 75 federal agencies.

In 2012 Champion was selected to the Senior Executive Service and continued his roles as deputy and COO for MAF. Champion oversaw the facility’s transition from building space shuttle external tanks to operating as a multi-tenant facility which began to manufacture and assemble the SLS core stage and Orion spacecraft through 2014.

From 2007 to 2010, Champion was division chief of Marshall’s Stage Systems Engineering and Integration Office, responsible for the technical integration of the subsystems which made up the Ares I upper stage.

Prior to his work as a division chief, he worked as deputy manager, chief engineer, and technical manager in the Propulsion System Engineering and Integration Office in Marshall’s Space Shuttle Propulsion Office from 2004 to 2007.

From 2000 to 2004, Champion held management positions in Marshall’s Internal Relations and Communications Department, the Next Generation Launch Vehicle Program and for the Boeing Orbital Space Plane Project.

Serving as a team lead for Marshall’s Vehicle Propulsion System from 1999 to 2000, Champion coordinated system design and analysis support for several spacecraft and launch vehicle propulsion projects. Prior to this, he served for nearly five years as team lead for the design of the X-34 Main Propulsion System. He began his distinguished career at Marshall in its Preliminary Design Office in 1986 as a propulsion engineer.

Throughout his career at Marshall, Champion received numerous awards. He was recently selected as an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Associate Fellow and received the 2018-2019 AIAA Holger Toftoy Award for outstanding technical management in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics.

In addition, he has received several of NASA’s highest awards including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the NASA Medal for Exceptional Service, Space Flight Awareness Honoree, Director’s Commendation, and the NASA Contracting Officers Technical Representative of the Year.

Champion earned his bachelor degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn University in 1986. He has four adult children in Huntsville.

Keith D. Brock
Deputy Director NASA Michoud Assembly Facility

Keith Brock is the Deputy Director of NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. He is responsible for the day-to-day management of the multi-tenant manufacturing facility, where NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft are being built. SLS, the world's most powerful rocket, will carry astronauts in the Orion crew vehicle, science experiments, and cargo on deep-space missions, including journeys to Mars. Michoud, a NASA-owned facility managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is one of the world's largest manufacturing plants.

Prior to being named for the Michoud Deputy Director position, from 2018 to September 2020, Brock served in several leadership positions within the Safety and Mission Assurance Office at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center.

From 2009 to 2018, Brock served in several key leadership positions at Stennis Space Center, including Project Director, Source Board Chairman, and Center Operations Director.  He also performed a detail leading the Agency Applications Office within the Chief Information Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center.

From 2005 to 2009, he served four years at Marshall Space Flight Center in the Space Shuttle Propulsion Office and as the Deputy Project Manager of the Altair Project Office, a Constellation era project to develop a lunar lander to return humans to the moon and provide life support and a base for weeklong surface exploration missions.

In 1997, Brock moved to Kennedy Space Center, where he then served as a Systems Engineer in support of space shuttle launches. In 1999, he returned to Stennis to work in the Rocket Propulsion Test Program Office for six years, including a period as acting manager.

Brock began his NASA career at the Stennis Space Center in 1989 as a Systems Engineer supporting space shuttle main engine testing.

A native of Tylertown, Mississippi, Brock has received a NASA Silver Snoopy award, a personal honor from astronauts to individuals who have contributed to flight safety and/or mission success. He also has received a Space Flight Awareness award for outstanding contributions in support of human space flight. Both awards are among the highest given to NASA employees.

Keith is a graduate of Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. He completed the Senior Executive Fellows Program at Harvard University and the Leadership for a Democratic Society Program at The Federal Executive Institute.

He resides in Huntsville, AL, with his wife.  They have three children and two grandchildren.

Lionel Joseph Dutreix III
Deputy Chief Operating Officer, NASA Michoud Assembly Facility

Lionel Dutrex

Lionel Dutreix is the Deputy Chief Operating Officer of NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Named to the position in 2017, he manages the day-to-day operations of NASA's only manufacturing facility. Sitting on 829 acres, Michoud is a multi-tenant manufacturing facility, where development of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion spacecraft are underway. SLS, the world’s most powerful rocket will carry astronauts in the Orion crew vehicle, science experiments and cargo on deep-space missions, including journeys to Mars.

Prior to his arrival at Michoud, Dutreix was Assistant Director of Center Operations at Stennis Space Center (SSC). In this role, he provided leadership and oversite for all support services including the Environmental and Industrial Hygiene office, Office of Protective Services, Facility Design and Construction, Facility Operations and Maintenance, Information Technology, and Facility Planning and Utilization services for the entire Center which includes over 40 Government Agencies and Commercial Tenants with a total of 5000 employees.

From 2013 to 2016, he was the Contracting Officer's Representative responsible for implementing a newly awarded 10-year $1.2 billion Synergy-Achieving Consolidated Operations and Maintenance (SACOM) contract which jointly supports the Michoud and Stennis Space Center.

From 2007 to 2013, he was the Project Manager for the design, construction, and activation of a new Altitude Test Facility at Stennis Space center.

From 2000 to 2007, he was Chief Test Operations and Electrical Branch Chief for the Engineering and test Directorate at Stennis Space Center.

Prior to joining NASA, Dutreix worked for Rockwell International supporting the Space Shuttle Main Engine Test Program at Stennis Space Center as a Data Systems Manager as well as an Instrumentation Lead Engineer.

Dutreix has received numerous awards over his 32-year career supporting Human Space Flight including the NASA Space Flight Awareness Award, NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, NASA Technical Utilization Award, Rockwell International, Rocketdyne Division, Engineer of the Year for Stennis Space Center, and the University of New Orleans Dean’s Student Organization Council Distinguished Teaching Award as an Adjunct Professor. He was a University of New Orleans, Department of EE Adjunct Professor and a University of New Orleans Engineering Advisory Council Member.Dutreix contributed to multiple publications including the AIAA - Activation of the E1 UHP Propulsion Test Facility at Stennis Space Center, 2001 and NASA Tech Briefs - Generating Multiple Calibrating Voltages Simultaneously, October, 1992.Dutreix received a master’s and bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Orleans. He also holds several professional certificates including Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Professional Engineer (PE). Dutreix lives in Slidell, LA with his wife Sherri and his five children.