News Archives:


Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University Meetup

METECS is looking forward to meeting the exceptional students at Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University Thursday, October 11th from 9-4.



Purdue Industrial Roundtable

METECS is excited about visiting with the excellent Purdue EngineeringStudent Council at the Industrial Roundtable on Wednesday, September 12th from 9-4.



UT Austin - Fall Engineering Expo

METECS is looking forward to visiting the exceptional students at the University Of Texas Austins Fall Engineering Expo. Stop by and say hi on Tuesday, September 11th from 11-5.




METECS is excited to welcome James Lawley to the team.  James completed a Mechanical Engineering Technology Certification in 2009 and worked as a CNC machinist and programmer in the oil industry until 2015 when he went back for a BS in computer science.  Between August 2017- 2018, he worked as an intern in ER 6 in the Advanced Operational Concepts Laboratory, building hardware for use in mixed reality.




Metecs' creative team produces 2018 Maui Jim Invitational bracket release promo for KemperLesnik in Chicago. The Maui Jim Invitational is the premier early-season college basketball2018 Maui Invitational tournament which airs on ESPN.



Flint Hills VR Presentation at the 2018 AFPM Conference

FlintHillsPresentation_01METECS team supports Flint Hills Resources "High Consequence Simulation Through Virtual Reality" presentation using a wireless HTC Vive to a packed Grand Ballroom at the 2018 AFPM National Occupational and Process Safety Conference in San Antonio.




METECS would like to extend a warm welcome to Mitch Hollander. Mitch recently earned his M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas, where he attended after graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Missouri with his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. From his graduate research fellowship in uncertainty quantification (UQ) applications to computational fluid dynamics (CFD), Mitch has an extensive background in algorithm development and C++. During his academic career, he completed two co-ops for GE Aviation, participated in the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC), and served as an engineering mentor for college recruitment programs. In collaboration with our partners at the Johnson Space Center, he will provide support with simulation and software development. Hailing from St. Louis, Mitch is an avid hockey fan with a passion for music. Welcome to the METECS family!




METECS is excited to welcome five interns to the team this summer!  Ethan Dickey is a Software Engineering major and Physics minor going into his sophomore year at Baylor University.  He enjoys coding in his free time and wants to pursue research in Quantum Computing in graduate school and beyond.  Rebekah McCartney is an incoming Sophomore at Purdue University pursuing a major in Mechanical Engineering Technology.  She spends her free time working on cars and being active in the Purdue Drumline.  Austin Gonzalez is a senior Computer Engineering major at Texas A&M and is graduating in December 2018.  He was the President of the Aggie AI Society for 2 years and looks forward to doing future work in AI and Machine Learning.  Andy Hudson is currently a Junior at the University of Texas at Dallas. He has 9 years of experience as a simulation hobbyist and is planning to do deep learning research after graduation.  Lorenzo Lucchese attends Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, AZ and is entering his senior year pursuing a Mechanical Engineering degree with an emphasis in robotics.  He is a second year METECS intern and returned this summer to continue his work with linear actuators.  We look forward to an exciting and productive summer with Ethan, Rebekah, Austin, Andy, and Lorenzo!



John Maclean speaks at the 2018 AFPM National Conference

METECS president, John MacLean, was the guest speaker at the 2018 American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) National Conference in New Orleans. John's TechTalk presentation was well attended on "Application of Emerging Technologies to Virtual Training".  METECS also had VR simulations from Ditch Witch and Flint Hills Resources on-site at the conference that were highlighted by the AFPM publications.




METECS is excited to welcome Ahmed Fayed to the team! Fayed is a graduate from Purdue University with a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a Minor in Mathematics and Computer Science. He was born in Memphis, TN when his parents came from Egypt to the states for their PhDs. He worked on his own microprocessor and his senior design project is titled "Virtual-Reality Based Cognitive Training Program". Fayed had a Computer Organization & Architecture class where he studied microprocessors. As a sole project he implemented the, codename, "Pride Processor" on an FPGA chip, namely Altera Cyclone IV. It clocked the fasted single core 5-stage pipe lined design microprocessor on campus! He was accepted to publish a research paper on the project in the Intl. Conference on Applied Cognitive Computing in the World Congress of Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Applied Computing 2018 in Las Vegas this past July. The design involves the user wearing both an HTC Vive and an EEG headset. He used their brain to control the VR world around them. The objective was to train focus and improve attention span.




AR Street Party at AWE....John MacLean, METECS president, and team present a customlow-light Hololens AR presentation to clients on the street of Sunnyvale, CA while at the2018 Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, CA.AWE_01




METECS is excited to have Joseph Bourque join the team!  Joseph graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science on May, 19th 2018.  While at UT, he began to branch out from application development into lower level systems programming and computer graphics.  As part of his coursework he developed an SD card driver as part of a group operating systems project and and chose to take classes and electives aligned with his interests such as: Compilers, Neural Networks, and Computer Graphics.  While at UT he also completed several side projects on his own time, including: a physical simulation for rolling dice for one of the faculty members in the Math department which is currently being used as a visual aid in curriculum, an undergraduate research project dealing with procedural terrain generation using simplex noise, raw OpenGL and FLTK for a user interface, and created his own pen and paper RPG system interface using Python. Currently he is working on creating a shell for controlling the components for one of his Raspberry Pi projects and is also working to refine the pre-mentioned RPG program. Welcome, Joseph!




John MacLean, METECS president, is guest presenter and panel member at the Technology Collaboration Center’s "Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality" Workshop hosted by Schlumberger, Houston.   John is joined by industry experts from NASA, KBRWyle, Schlumberger, Wood and others.




METECS is thrilled to have Brett Parrish join the team! Brett received his BSEE degree from the University of Cincinnati and has completed 30+ additional graduate level engineering course hours at the University of Houston and Rice University.  He started as a NASA/JSC coop in 1976, became a full time NASA employee in 1979, retired in Jan 2018 and began working for Metecs in April 2018.  Over the course of his career Brett concentrated on advanced electronics, embedded software and computer LAN design and seventeen of his hardware designs have flown in space.  The early part of Brett’s career centered around analog and digital radio development for the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.  Mid-career centered around upgrading the Shuttle, ISS and MCC communications systems to support emerging commercial interface standards leading to the first computer LANs to fly in space as part of a series of Space Shuttle DTO flight demos.  Brett worked with Intel and Cisco to develop the first Video Teleconferencing system as well as the first telephone system to fly in space at a time when commercial systems could not tolerate the extreme round trip delay, long dropouts and high bit error rate of NASA satellite links.  He is particularly proud to have personally received the second telephone call ever placed by an on-orbit astronaut.  Major NASA awards include the JSC Director’s Commendation, two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, the astronaut office Silver Snoopy Award, the NASA Headquarters Outstanding Achievement award, and also JSC center director’s nominations for the Vice President’s Hammer Award and the Rotary Stellar Award.  Several of Brett’s projects have received full page articles in NASA’s Space News Roundup, most notably April 94 “Speed Writing” and June 2001 “ISS Phone Home”. Welcome, Brett!




METECS is excited to welcome its newest team member, Phuong Nguyen! Phuong graduated with a B.S in Computer Science, Magna Cum Laude from University of Houston – Clear Lake. After working on a variety of software projects, she finished a M.S in Computer Science, Summa Cum Laude from American Sentinel University (American College of Computer & Information Sciences). Her first co-op work was creating C parser programs to analyze Space Shuttle Assembly language programs using Live Parsing editor at IBM Houston. After graduation, she participated in a database application and engine development for telecoms, storage companies, and then moved to IT companies for software development to test hardware and verify configuration that automates manufacturing processes. She was also involved in writing server applications for resource partitioning and management before switching to energy companies where she concentrated on desktop tools and applications to automate generating GUIs, client deliverables including images, movies, reports by embedding GUI Objects in the vendor software, and automating the workflow of CoreHD operations on CT images. Additionally, she helped write software to archive acquisition data in various seismic industry standard formats where she was one of the pioneers in the software development group implementing seismic viewer applications using third party SDKs and the image processing using OpenCV. Welcome, Phuong!




METECS is excited to welcome Mini Chacko to the team! Mini graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information systems from University of Houston, Clear Lake, and has 16 years of experience as a Software Engineer in developing, integrating, and testing simulation software for Shuttle, International Space Station (ISS), and Orion projects. The most recent project she worked on is Training Systems for the 21st century (TS21) for International Space Station, where she integrated models and simulation software in JSC Trick based simulation framework, implemented and integrated Binary/ASCII checkpoint with fully integrated International Space Station (ISS), Communication and Tracking Network Simulation (CTNS), and H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) simulations with User Support Systems, created and executed automated test plans, use cases, and scripts using Jenkins to identify and uncover intermittent issues leading to schedule slippage of TS21 testing and verification.




Hurricane Harvey Response

As the Houston area slowly emerges following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, METECS would like to express our support for those affected by the storm.  The scale of this storm means that everyone knows someone affected in some way.

We would also like to share how happy we are with the response of the Houston and JSC community during this turbulent time. Some of our employees, customers and subcontractors were significantly affected and we are very appreciative of the support of neighbors, co-workers, organizations, and the Johnson Space Center.  We look forward to working with them to help restore their working and living conditions back to normal.





METECS is excited to welcome Ben Vizena to the team. Ben is a recent graduate of Lamar University
where he earned undergraduate degrees in Physics and Computer Science. While at Lamar, he helped
develop software that determines air pollution levels from photographs using computer vision and
machine learning techniques. Prior to joining METECS, Ben interned at Applied Research in Acoustics
where he worked on acoustic simulation software. His spare time is spent tinkering, rock climbing, and
backpacking. Welcome Ben!





METECS is excited to welcome Sondra Del Sardo to the team!  Sondra graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Stephen F. Austin State University followed by a M.S. in Biology from S.W. Texas State University (now Texas State).  She has over 17 years of NASA contracting experience and spent the last 15 years as the Office Manager for her previous company. Welcome aboard, Sondra!





METECS is excited to welcome Brandon Bennett to the team. Brandon is a native Houstonian who studied music performance at Hardin-Simmons University. For the last twelve years he has worked for some of the largest corporations in Houston and around the world, designing award-winning 3D animations and simulations as well as developing immersive, interactive exhibits. Welcome aboard Brandon!




METECS is excited to welcome Jonathan Brandenburg. Jonathan graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science from Oklahoma State University followed by a Master's Certificate in Project Management from George Washington University, M.S. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas. He began his career at General Dynamics working on F-16 mission planning software then shifted to consulting with a focus on document and records management. He is a Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of Texas at Dallas and volunteers with the Amateur Satellite Corporation of North America to develop and launch amateur communication satellites. He holds FAA Advanced Ground Instructor, Airplane Single Engine Land, and Remote Pilot certificates. Any spare time is filled learning to play the guitar, learn to use his CNC lathe and mill, build robots, and cook as much as possible on two Big Green Eggs. Welcome Jonathan!




METECS is very excited to welcome 5 interns to our team this summer!  Andy Hudson will be starting his freshman year at UT Dallas.  He has been making games and simulations for about 8 years and wants to go into research in machine learning.  Braeden Kennedy is an incoming senior in the Turing Scholars Computer Science Honors program at UT Austin where he enjoys cooking, playing guitar, and developing video games in his spare time.  He has won Best in Show at a Game Jam for their VR game.  Lorenzo attends Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and is a rising junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis in robotics.  Nihal Dhamani is a Computer Science and Astronomy major at UT Austin and loves working on various coding projects.  Joshua Neu is going into his 4th year at John Brown University pursuing a major in Electrical Engineering and was part of a robotics team prototyping a cable-robot for NASA last summer.  These interns will spend the summer working on fun and technically challenging projects in the areas of mixed reality, dynamics, software, and RFID technology.  We are looking forward to an exciting and productive summer with Andy, Braeden, Lorenzo, Nihal, and Joshua!




Deep is a recent graduate from the University of Texas where he obtained a B.S. and M.S. in Aerospace Engineering.  As an undergraduate student, he worked on a software-defined GNSS receiver and developed a driver-recognition algorithm capable of identifying drivers based on their habits.  As a graduate student, Deep worked on synthesizing correct-by-construction control protocols with applications in aircraft power/thermal management systems and in human-robot interaction.  In his spare time, Deep enjoys reading and playing sports (tennis, frisbee and cricket). Welcome Deep!




METECS is excited to welcome the newest member to the team, Sanjay Joshi. He has a PhD and a couple of post-docs in different areas of Computational Mechanics. For last 13 years he has worked for different companies in Houston and developed software for structural and marine analysis of fixed and floating offshore structures. Welcome Sanjay!




Travis has a Bachelor's degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Masters from Carnegie Mellon University, both in software engineering. He has 7 years of development experience from a broad range of projects and platforms including desktop GUIs, mobile apps, websites, continuous integration, and automated testing. Prior to METECS, Travis worked at a Boeing subsidiary in the field of software-defined radio and at UNC Charlotte's College of Computing and Informatics as a research associate. He also previously interned at Iowa State University's Virtual Reality Application Center, where he studied then-emerging Augmented Reality (AR) technology.




METECS is excited to welcome Yan Zhao to the team!  Yan received his Ph.D degree in Computer Science in 2005 from Harbin Institute of Technology in China.  Before joining METECS, he worked as a C++ compiler developer at the University of Houston and developed intermediate representation (IR) language in the Clang compiler.  He also worked as a C++ developer in Fidelis-Group to develop a simulation engine.  He is an expert in C/C++ languages, and has published two books about each of them.  In addition, he translated two other C++ language books from English to Chinese.  Welcome aboard, Yan!



METECS at ConExpo

METECS is happy to be collaborating with Ditch Witch at ConExpo in Las Vegas this week to showcase our Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) training simulators.  We are demoing Virtual Reality (VR) enabled training simulators in the Ditch Witch booth and also at ConExpo's all new Tech Experience area.  "We are excited about our collaboration with Ditch Witch on the HDD simulators and to be with them here at ConExpo. Their commitment to training and to the success of their customers is very impressive." said John MacLean who is the founder and president of METECS.

If you are interested in HDD training or simply want to check out the latest in training technology please stop by and see us at the show.  The Tech Experience showcase is also well worth seeing - lots of great demos and new technologies.

You can also visit our page to find a video overview of our commercially available HDD simulator. For purchase and support of the HDD simulator please locate your nearest Ditch Witch dealer at



VR enabled Horizontal Directional Drilling simulator in the Tech Experience area.






The Ditch Witch VR Simulator is drawing big crowds at ConExpo in Las Vegas.



2016 Open Source Award Winners

METECS would like to congratulate the winners of our 2016 Open Source Award: The Blender Foundation, Git, and the Free Software Foundation.  METECS employees nominated and voted on projects that impact their work.  METECS will be making a donation to each of these software foundations to support their development.

METECS appreciates the work and devotion that people put into projects like these every day.  Thank you!




METECS thanks An Huynh for 10 years of outstanding service and expertise in multi-body dynamics and simulations.  Thanks An!




METECS is thrilled to introduce our newest team member, Michael Park.  Michael relocated from the Boston area in August 2016 and worked several months developing software on an autonomous brazing robot at Houston Mechatronics, Inc. (HMI).  In Boston, he worked as a robotics software engineer for the Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System (AACUS) at the R&D center of Aurora Flight Sciences.  Prior to this, he was a member of the technical staff at MIT Lincoln Laboratory for 5 years, where he worked on various autonomous systems programs, including the first iteration of the RACECAR project (Rapid Autonomous Complex-Environment Competing Ackermann-steering Robot).  He also won an internally-awarded research grant for the development of a sensor-integrated navigation system for a target-finding UAV.

Michael received his Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania.  His dissertation was in the area of configuration recognition and architecture for CKBot, a modular robotic system.  He received his B.A. in Physics from Vassar College.  Welcome aboard Michael!



Goodbye Summer 2016 Interns

METECS would like to thank the summer 2016 interns for their outstanding work this summer!  Amy Quartaro worked on a new algorithm for triangle-polyhedron contact in Pong.  She also generated an interactive docking simulation based on the International Docking Standard (IDS).  She used tools such as Blender/PMTK, Trick, Pong, Mechdyn, and Edge.  Alec Griffin worked on a Mixed Reality research project using an HTV Vive, cameras and a green screen.  Alec worked through challenges such as designing the calibration scene, modifying a Chroma-Keying Algorithm, and applying an image correction algorithm to address image distortion.  Austin Middleton worked on converting a commercial simulator to VR and building a visualizer for NASA's Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Embedded Automated Logistics Management (REALM) project.  Austin setup a Turtlebot to search a habitat for RFID tags.  He also got to work with Unity and an Oculus headset.  Amy, Alec, and Austin enjoyed touring the Mission Control Center (MCC) Houston, Rocket Park, Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL), Systems Engineering Simulator (SES), TS21 Cupola, and Virtual Reality (VR) Lab.  Thanks summer 2016 interns for the fun and productive summer.  Good luck during the fall semester!2016MetecsInternPhoto



Congratulations MED-2 Team

Congratulations Miniature Exercise Device (MED-2) Team for receiving the NASA Space Flight Awareness Team Award.  Each team member was recognized for their excellent contributions as a valued team member in support of NASA's human spaceflight programs.  METECS developed the MED-2 firmware and data interfaces.  The following link shows a video of the MED-2 evaluation in Aquarius, the Agency's undersea research station on NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO-21):



Welcome aboard Jesse

We are delighted to welcome aboard the newest addition to the METECS team.  Jesse Berger has a Bachelor's and Masters' in Software Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (2004-2009). During early years of college, he worked as a Civil Engineering draftsman. As part of the accelerated Master's program, he had two internships working loadable software on the Boeing 787 program and then working on Lab Engineering software for the International Space Station (ISS) program in Houston. After graduation and for the 7 years following, Jesse worked across many NASA projects both in the ISS sustaining community and new product development programs such as the NASA Docking System (NDS). His primary experience is in full stack Java/C# development, including Database administration, Data Modeling frameworks, code generation, and web application architecture. By 2013, Jesse had become the lead sustaining engineer for the Rig Information Management (RIM) software and the Rig Operational Console (ROC), both are critical products for daily operation of the Software Development Integration Laboratory (SDIL) responsible for software and hardware integration for ISS. He worked as lead simulation architect for the Docking System Emulator (DSE) and scripting automation API architect for Host Vehicle Emulator (HVE) as part of the NDS development. DSE/HVE are test integration equipment running on a single laptop to provide real time software-in-the-loop simulation of hardware, "stewart platform" actuator kinematics and simple contact modeling for development and test/integration of the flight FPGA code controlling all communication and sequencing (docking, checkout, etc) being performed between the vehicle and the docking ring. Through Jesse's professional and personal endeavors, he has gained significant experience in the Unity game engine, 3D modeling in Blender, and AutoCAD. Outside of his technical skills, his key expertise is in process automation. He was configuration management and process Lead for the SDIL Lab Engineering team for many years and has supported the CMMI Level 3 re-certification process. Welcome aboard Jesse!



Welcome Aboard Danrae

METECS is thrilled to introduce our newest team member, Danrae Pray.  Danrae holds a B.S. in Physics with a Minor in Aerospace Engineering from U.T. Arlington and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Missouri University of Science & Technology with a coursework emphasis in computational sciences / modeling & simulation.  Moreover, he also holds an Engineer-In-Training certification from the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and a graduate certificate in Energy Conversion and Transport from MST.  Danrae has over 5 years of software development experience in working on a broad spectrum of projects, in both an academic research and industrial setting, ranging from detector development for particle accelerators to reliable communications protocols for wireless networking to data acquisition / measurement systems as well as geophysics / signal processing algorithms.  In his spare time, Danrae is currently breaking ground on an open-source real-time 3D rendering engine and plans to contribute to existing open-source game engines in the future.  Welcome, Danrae!



Welcome Aboard Lina

METECS is thrilled to introduce our newest team member, Lina Xu.  Lina received her Ph.D degree in Physics in 2009, and shortly thereafter joined Bluware, Inc. She served as a geophysics developer for Shell's in-house interpretation software, Geosigns.   During her 6 years at Bluware, Inc., Lina developed the algorithm and application for seismic data processing which included gridding, filtering and flexing two types of data. Also, she performed gravity/magnetic data processing to aid the seismic interpretation.  Welcome aboard Lina!



Welcome Aboard Steven

METECS is delighted to welcome a new member to our team.  Steven Chen has a Bachelor’s degree in Power Engineering from Dalian University of Technology and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has 15 years of experience in simulation, software, and control. Steven worked at Houston Mechatronics Inc (HMI), a robotics start-up company founded by a group of NASA veterans, where he served as robotics system engineer and developed the realtime distributed control framework for the oil and gas industry. Prior to joining HMI, Steven spent 10 years at Navistar Inc, where he served as an engineering senior manager, manager, and development engineer. He led the design and development of the company's Predictive Cruise Control product that autonomously controls the heavy truck's longitudinal operation.  Welcome aboard Steven!



METECS Awarded 2 NASA Phase I SBIRs

METECS has been awarded 2 Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants from NASA.

In the first SBIR, titled “Modern Software Technology for Flight Test Automation and Orchestration”, METECS will develop a scalable architectural software framework known as the mREST Automated Test Environment (MATE) which addresses the technical issues commonly associated with flight testing, measurement, and data acquisition by providing comprehensive flight test orchestration and data measurement/acquisition capabilities in both centralized and distributed environments.  MATE has the potential to significantly optimize current flight test methodologies without levying new requirements on each test element.  The Phase I portion of the contract has a value of $122,708 over 6 months.

In the second SBIR, titled "A Flexible Open Interface Standard for Test and Launch Operations", METECS will generate an interface standard for mREST that can be utilized to solve the issues associated with test and launch operations. This will be accomplished by first doing research into the specific issues that typically arise during the pre-launch process and identifying areas where the existing mREST specification should be expanded and/or refined.  The Phase I portion of the contract has a value of $122,762 over 6 months.

METECS is thrilled to see our mREST customer base expand through the development of application specific interfaces and software tools that take advantage of core mREST technology.




METECS is very excited to welcome 3 interns to our team this summer!  All 3 of them are going into their junior year at the University of Texas at Austin.  Alec Griffin is pursuing a degree in Computer Science and has written a Bible Verse Storer and several games in his spare time.  Amy Quartaro is studying Aerospace Engineering and has worked on several robotics projects.  Austin Middleton is majoring and Computer Science and is a technical co-founder of "DelegateIt - a personal concierge service" where he contributes to software development.  These interns will spend the summer working on some fun and technically challenging projects in the areas of Mixed Reality, Dynamics, and Robotics.  We are looking forward to an exciting and productive summer with Alec, Amy, and Austin!



Congratulations AA-2 Team

METECS congratulates John Borland, Frank Graffagnino, Pat McCartney, and Jeremy Moreau for receiving the Elite Team Award from the NASA JSC Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division.  The award was for their "outstanding work building the MPCV AA-2 Hardware and Software Integration capability and demonstrating initial flight simulation in time to support the Program Technical Review".  Excellent work AA-2 Team!




METECS would like to congratulate its team members on completing a successful AA2 Demo in the iPAS last week!  Ascent Abort-2 (AA2) is an upcoming test of the Orion Launch Abort System (LAS) under the highest aerodynamic loads it will experience in flight.  The test will consist of an Orion mockup and LAS launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, aboard a modified Peacekeeper missile.  The images below show screenshots of the NASA AA2 simulation that METECS contributed to showing various stages of the mission including the escape from the booster, LAS guidance, and LAS jettison.  Last week the team demonstrated the AA2 simulation running closed loop with the Flight Software and Flight Computer for the first time.  mREST was used to launch all of the processes during the demo including the EDGE graphics.  Thanks for all of the hard work that led to the success of this demo!aa2_1 aa2_2 aa2_3




METECS thanks John Borland for 5 years of outstanding service in simulation engineering.  Thanks John!JohnBorland5Years



MED-2 Arrives at the ISS

The Miniature Exercise Device (MED-2) arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) late last week.  METECS helped develop the firmware and data interfaces for this compact device that supports both aerobic and resistive workouts.  Its testing on the ISS will determine how it needs to be adapted for a journey to Mars and beyond.  Checkout the following article on JSC Features for more information about MED-2:



Congratulations to Jeremy Moreau

METECS recognizes Jeremy Moreau for 5 years of outstanding service in simulation and software engineering.  Jeremy has also received a couple of recent awards from NASA.  One is a Group Achievement Award for his "exceptional contributions to the Integration and Test of the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 Spacecraft".  The other award is shown in the image below and has "a piece of the main parachute that brought the Orion Spacecraft to a safe splashdown in the Pacific Ocean after its first space flight".  Excellent work Jeremy!JeremyMoreau5Years Jeremy_EFT1_award




METECS congratulates John MacLean and Chad Zalkin on their outstanding work on MED-2!  John and Chad each received 2 Elite Team Awards from the NASA JSC Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division for this work.  The first award was in recognition of their "outstanding work that enabled the successful, on-time delivery of the Miniature Exercise Device 2 (MED-2) to the ISS program".  The second award was for their "unwavering dedication and perseverance in developing, building, and integrating the Miniature Exercise Device 2 engineering unit for the reduced gravity flight testing".  Excellent work John and Chad!



Congratulations to Pat McCartney

METECS thanks Pat McCartney for 10 years of outstanding service and leadership in systems engineering.  Pat has made significant contributions in the areas of simulation and orchestration.  Thanks Pat!PatMcCartney10Years




METECS would like to thank the summer 2015 interns for their outstanding work this summer!  Kim Rink created a plugin for Edge that allows users to import waveform models directly and she created a Robonaut gripper contact model simulation to grab an ISS handrail during an IVA.  Matt Casso improved mRest efficiency by updating the algorithm used to gather telemetry shown on mRest displays.  He also integrated both the Robonaut gripper sim and the IDA docking sim with mRest then made GUIs.  Additionally, Matt and Kim enjoyed touring the Mission Control Center Houston, Rocket Park, Neutral Buoyancy Lab, Moon Rock Lab, TS21 Cupola, and Virtual Reality Lab.  Thanks Kim and Matt for joining us this summer and good luck during your fall semester!IMG_20150706_153630



Congratulations To Angela Reeves

METECS congratulates Angela Reeves for receiving the Superior Assistance Award from the NASA JSC Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division.  The award was for her "technical excellence and commitment to service outside normal work hours in providing the real-time trouble shooting and simulation graphics configuration support required during a PAO filming event of astronaut personnel in the SSTF cupola".  Great work Angela!



ROBoT Part of Virtual ISS Tour

ROBoTOnISSVirtualTourAstronaut Samantha Cristoforetti (ESA) recently took several pictures inside the International Space Station (ISS) that were used create a virtual tour of the orbiting laboratory.  Check out the tour at  While visiting the Destiny module, notice the Robotics On-Board Trainer (ROBoT) running on the wall opposite the actual robotics workstation.  HLS Technology, a METECS team member on the NASA Robotics, Vehicle, & Graphics Simulation Services (RVGSS) contract, develops, maintains, and delivers ROBoT to provide robotics proficiency training to astronauts living and working aboard the ISS.  Congratulations HLS Technology on your work showing up in the tour!  We know the astronauts greatly value the training they receive using ROBoT.



Excellent Work Thomas Brain

METECS congratulates Thomas Brain for his most recent award from NASA!  He received the Superior Assistance Award from the NASA JSC Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division for his "extraordinary effort in preparing course material, developing tutorial simulations, and conducting a two week ER7 core dynamics software training course for TS21 ISS to CCV sim developers".  Excellent work Thomas!




METECS is thrilled to welcome 2 interns to our team this summer!  Kim Rink is a junior at Purdue majoring in Aerospace Engineering and minoring in Computer Science.  She did an internship last summer at Qnergy in Utah and spends her free time playing the guitar, hiking, fishing, and giving tours of Purdue to prospective engineering students.  Matt Casso is a Sophomore at Harvard majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Psychology.  He worked last semester at a tutoring company designing curriculum for middle and high school students.  He is also a Dallas Cowboys fan and brews his own beer.  These interns will spend the summer working on some exciting and technically challenging tasks using Edge, Pong, and mRest.  We look forward to a fun and productive summer with Kim and Matt!



METECS Software Featured on NASA Software Page

One of the software packages that METECS develops and maintains for NASA is the EDGE 3D graphics software.  EDGE is now featured on the front page of NASA's software portal at

We would like to send a special thanks to the METECS employees who have contributed to EDGE over the years and also to the NASA Virtual Reality Laboratory, who supported our development.




METECS would like to welcome our newest team member, Adam Merta.  Adam received his bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering (EE) from Texas A&M University in 2007, and shortly thereafter joined the NASA Johnson Space Center community as a contractor.  He served as a Computer Systems Engineer for facilities including the Trick Lab, CxTF / TS21 Lab, Virtual Reality Lab, SimCity, Robotics Flight Control Trainer (RFCT), Space Station Training Facility (SSTF), Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL), Project Morpheus Simulation Lab, iPas, and several NExSyS facilities.  Adam managed the entire IT life cycles of these systems, primarily using Linux OS configurations, for software development and/or training facilities.  In addition, he served as a NASA property custodian, where he was responsible for tens of millions of dollars worth of NASA IT assets. Welcome, Adam!



Congratulations to Frank Graffagnino

METECS thanks Frank Graffagnino for 10 outstanding years of graphics leadership and simulation expertise.  Thanks Frankie!FrankGraffagnino10Years



Congratulations To Thomas Brain

METECS congratulates Thomas Brain for receiving the Superior Assistance Award from the NASA JSC Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division.  The award was for his "technical excellence in development and configuration of simulation real-time performance capabilities for the TS21 ISS training simulation" to meet the 80 Hz real-time frame requirement while providing high fidelity training of Space Station operations.  Thomas incorporated several approaches, one of which included creating the software package Critical Threads, to solve this highly complex problem.  Good work Thomas!



METECS To Support RWS Flight Software Development

METECS was recently tasked by the Johnson Space Center's ER6 branch to provide flight software development, integration and test services for two key piece of the ISS robotics system. METECS personnel will be responsible for two of the three software components executing on the ISS in the Robotic Workstation (RWS), the "command and control" center on the ISS for the Mobile Servicing System, including the 57 foot long Canadarm2, and the smaller, more dexterous, two armed robot, "Dextre". One of the components, the "Workstation Host Software" (WHS), is responsible for shuttling/managing all of the commands and telemetry passing to/from the MSS components. The second component, the "Video Graphics Software" (VGS), is responsible for overlaying key graphical aids on the RWS monitors, used by the crew to monitor robotic systems and operations, including the approach, capture, and berthing of visiting vehicles, such as the SpaceX Dragon capsule.



Congratulations Orion Team on EFT1

Congratulations Lockheed Martin and the entire Orion Team on the successful launch and recovery of the Orion spacecraft during its first flight test!  This uncrewed test of the the various Orion systems such as avionics, heat shielding, and parachutes is a huge milestone in creating a vehicle that will eventually transport humans to Mars.  METECS looks forward to contributing to many future Orion milestones!



Congratulations on the TS21 Demos

METECS would like to congratulate its team members on completing 2 major TS21 Robotics and Dynamics demos this week!  The first demo was a Dual RWS Demo where multiple HTV captures and releases were performed in Hot Backup mode.  This demo was performed with a hardware Lab RWS mock-up and a virtual Cupola RWS.  The second demo was of the new Dynamics State Manager (DSM) displays.  These displays built upon mRest were demonstarted while working through a human-in-the-loop Robotics PMM  relocation scenario.  Thanks METECS team members for all of the hard work that led to these successful demos!FullSizeRender



Goodbye Summer 2014 Interns

METECS would like to thank the summer 2014 interns for their impressive contributions this summer.  Nathan worked on getting a Hexapod Robotics (6 legged) simulation to walk, which included coordinating motion between multiple legs and integrating 5 software packages.  Leon created the Pong contact models for the Hexpod Robotics simulation and created a parser to scatter rocks at given locations on the surface of Phobos, one of Mars' moons, in a simulation environment.  Fino worked on a head tracking system in a dome with 8 screens, which included dynamically adjusting the field-of-view and perspective.  Raymond created a graphing function for visualizing administrative data and simplified the company payroll process through automation.  Additionally, the interns had fun touring Mission Control Center Houston, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab, the Virtual Reality Lab, and Rocket Park.  Thanks interns for joining us this summer and good luck during your fall semester!Summer2014MetecsInterns



Congratulations to Drake Deno

METECS thanks Drake Deno for 5 years of outstanding service as a Simulation Software Engineer.  Additionally, METECS recognizes Drake as being the first METECS intern and writing the first version of Pong.  Thanks Drake!




METECS would like to welcome our newest team member, Ray Seegmiller. Ray earned his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science from the University of Idaho. He worked his way through college as a jack-of-all-trades working for a small business developing new interferometer and spectrometer technologies. Duties included machining, 3D CAD, circuit board layout and development, system assembly, calibration and testing, and all software development needs. Upon graduating, Ray took a job at Southwest Research Institute where he has spent six years as a software developer. He worked on a number of projects including voice command input, databases, network based telemetry, crowd simulation, and immersive 3D telecommunications training. Welcome aboard Ray!



Welcome 2014 Summer Interns

METECS is excited to welcome 4 interns to our team this summer!  Nathan Woodward and Leon Kozinakov both attend the University of Texas at Austin.  Nathan is a Mechanical Engineering major.  Leon is an Electrical and Computer Engineering major.  Serafino Bohrer-Padavos is an Aerospace Engineering major with an emphasis on Astronautics and an AFROTC Cadet studying at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott.  These interns will work exciting and technically challenging tasks in the areas of Simulation and Graphics.  Raymond MacLean's work this summer will be focused on Business.  He joins us from  the University of Texas at Austin where he is majoring in Business.  We are looking forward to a productive and fun summer with all of our interns!



METECS West Office Opens

METECS is thrilled to open "METECS West", our first satellite office, located in San Antonio!  The office allows our METECS team members living near San Antonio to collaborate in-person as they develop simulators for our current and future commercial clients.  METECS is looking forward to the future business opportunities that willMetecs_West result frMETECS_West_Interiorom the work done at this new office.



METECS Awarded RVGSS Contract

METECS has been awarded the Robotics, Vehicle, and Graphics, Simulation Services (RVGSS) contract to support the NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Engineering Directorate and its external customers.  Including two one year options, this contract has a maximum value of $49.7 million over 5 years.

Under this contract, METECS will develop software systems and simulation tools for the International Space Station, the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle, Center Operations, the Advanced Exploration System Program, and other programs and projects.

METECS is pleased to continue its long standing relationship with JSC's Engineering Directorate, and specifically the Software, Robotics, and Simulation Division.



Congratulations to Angela Reeves and Bryce Kovel

METECS recognizes both Angela Reeves and Bryce Kovel for 5 years of outstanding service in simulation engineering.  Thanks Angela and Bryce!



Racing Season Begins for METECS

Congratulations to team member Ryan Logan for finishing the first races of the season at the MSR Houston race track in Angelton, TX.  This is his first season racing the #15 METECS sponsored Mazda Miata in the National Auto Sport Association ( ) Spec Miata series.  METECS wishes Ryan good luck in reaching his goal of a top-15 finish for the next set of races on March 8-9 at Motorsport Ranch in Cresson, TX.



Updated Company Photo

METECS updated the company photo on the About Us page to include all of our new team members.  We had a few photos to choose from for the website.  Here are a few that did not make the cut.




METECS attended I/ITSEC 2013 to explore potential collaborations with industry and government entities.  We look forward to leveraging our NASA expertise and assets in the ongoing effort to improve the safety and efficiency of today’s warfighter.



Happy Anniversary VR Lab

Approximately 20 years ago, the first virtual reality training for an EVA crew occurred at Johnson Space Center.  This training marked the beginning of a new way to train astronauts and the beginning of JSC's Virtual Reality lab.

That first training supported the first EVA of the Hubble repair mission on STS-61. Since then, JSC's VR lab has grown and evolved into a training facility used to train many Space Shuttle and International Space Station crews, as well as the facility in charge of development of the "DOUG" rendering software used in all of JSC's human spaceflight training facilities.

Over the past 20 years, many people have played a role in the success of the VR lab. METECS is proud to have staff members who are a part of that history. Congratulations to the VR lab! And Happy Anniversary!

You can read more about the VR lab anniversary at JSC Features.




Congratulations TO Bob Culpepper

Congratulations Bob Culpepper on your retirement!  Everyone really enjoyed the retirement party where we celebrated Bob's long and inspirational career in the Aerospace Industry.  Special thanks to those who organized the party and those who sent in great stories for Bob's memory book.  It is amazing how many people's lives Bob has impacted throughout his career.  Bob is responsible for hiring and managing some of the most talented men and women that work in the space program.  Bob's current and past colleagues had the following to say about him:

  • "You were well accomplished in all your endeavors, achieving admirable pinnacles while maintaining a high degree of technical and ethical performance and always making sure that those around you received the guidance and support to succeed."

  • "He did a superb job of balancing the needs of his company with the needs of the government and always gave us a fair perspective."

  • "You have left your imprint on the space program and I was always honored to work with you."

  • "Your “Baptist minister” training also helped bring a human touch to the technical side of starting and developing a small business."

METECS appreciates all of Bob's contributions to the company.  In particular, "his most important contribution was as mentor for the company's conscience. He taught us the importance of trying to treat our employees fairly, not being too greedy, and maintaining a strong moral compass."  Even though Bob is retiring, METECS will continue to benefit from the integrity and morality that, thanks to Bob's influence, is such a strong part of our company culture.

Enjoy your retirement Bob!  It was truly an honor to work with you!




Goodbye Summer 2013 Interns

METECS would like to thank the summer 2013 interns for the wonderful contributions they made this summer.  Mary Ryan impressed us with her work on the head-tracker system and vMDM status application while Bennett impressed us with his work with rock scattering in EDGE and a Point of Interest (POI) visualization application.  Thanks again for joining our team this summer!  Good luck during your fall semester!




METECS recognizes Thomas Brain for 5 years of outstanding service and leadership in simulation engineering.  Thanks Thomas!



Welcome 2013 Summer Interns

METECS is thrilled to welcome two interns to our team this summer.  Mary Ryan Gilmore is a Computer Engineering major at the University of Texas at Austin.  Bennett Marsh is joining us from Purdue where he is majoring in Physics/Math with a minor in Electrical Engineering.  They will get to contribute to some exciting tasks in the areas of Simulation, Graphics, and Automation.  We are looking forward to having a fun summer with them!




METECS is pleased to welcome Brian Fisher to the team.  Brian has a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston. He has more than 20 years of experience in modeling and simulation. For the past 16 years, Brian worked at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) where he served as a section manager, lead engineer, proposal manager and software developer. He led a group of engineers specializing in interactive 3D graphics applications for projects including aerial refueling training, distributed simulation research, mobile augmented reality, gas meter station design, amphibious assault vehicle simulation, air traffic control training, spray painting training and medical simulation research. He also lead the design and development of a line of commercial equipment operator training simulators and helped grow this program from a single simulator project to numerous efforts covering multiple equipment simulators and variants. He also successfully generated proposals for numerous other development efforts valued at over $25 million.

Prior to joining SwRI, Brian worked at VictorMaxx Technologies where he developed and integrated software to model dynamics and collision detection. He also worked at Anderson Consulting where he designed and developed a patented 3-D graphics application using desktop virtual reality to train consultants in object oriented modeling techniques. From  1988 to 1994, Brian worked at McDonnell Douglas Aerospace as part of several teams to develop and test mathematical models and software for various engineering analysis, optimization, design and data reduction applications. He performed analysis and testing of applications to validate Space Shuttle onboard guidance software, supported the development of an ascent trajectory optimization design tool and investigated Space Shuttle abort trajectory enhancements. He also led an effort to validate a multi-body dynamics simulation of the Space Shuttle remote manipulator.  Welcome aboard Brian!




We are delighted to welcome a new member to the METECS team.  Ryan Logan has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design and a Master’s degree in Visualization Sciences from Texas A&M University VizLab. After completion of graduate school, Ryan took a position with Southwest Research Institute in their Aerospace and Training systems Division. At SwRI, Ryan was responsible for the full life cycle of many projects from requirements through acceptance as well as project management. Early work included a Air Traffic Control Virtual Reality (ATCVR) tower training system for the Air Force and VR work for both dismounted infantry and tactical units under the Small Unit Tactical Training (SUTT) program for the Marines. He also worked on the Virtual Training and Environments (VIRTE) program for the Office of Naval Research which included distributed simulators (over HLA) for the Landing Craft Air Cushion (LCAC), Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) and the V-22 Osprey. SwRI was responsible for the EFV simulator platform which included a vehicle commander, gunner and driver station. Ryan was project manager/technical lead on a C-130 Crew Resource Management (CRM) trainer for the Air Force. This system integrated COTS flight hardware, touch screen monitors and MS Flight Simulator with custom software which provided an Instructor Operator Station (IOS) and the capability to generate autonomous aircraft to carry out formation flight training. Ryan was also technical lead for a system developed to train Borescope operators ,using a virtual engine) to find engine component defects for the Joint Strike Fighter (F135/F136) program. For the past six years, Ryan has been working on a series of heavy construction equipment (Excavator, Loader, Grader,Dozer, Backhoe) and agricultural (Sugar Cane Harvester) simulators for John Deere. Ryan also recently developed (working jointly with Dignitas Technologies) a prototype of the excavator simulator which allowed for soil topology to be distributed over the network so that two remote excavator simulators can dig in the same dynamic environment.  Welcome aboard Ryan!




MJPEG video streaming to a web browser from the WCS

EDGE v2.3 was released today!  This version brings enhancements such as
- Trick 13 support
- Mobile browser compatible Web Commanding Server  (WCS)
- DCOMM client auto reconnection
- Ability to stream video  of an EDGE display to a web browser
- And many more that you can read about in the release notes

Please contact METECS for additional information on EDGE v2.3.



METECS Attends I/ITSEC 2012

METECS attended I/ITSEC 2012 to explore potential collaborations with industry and government entities.  We look forward to leveraging our NASA expertise and assets in the ongoing effort to improve the safety and efficiency of today’s warfighter.



EDGE v2.3 BETA Released

METECS is happy to  announce that we are one step closer to the EDGE v2.3 release with this  BETA  being available for testing.  This release, codenamed "graham", brings  more fixes, compatibility  updates, and enhancements.  We look forward to getting feedback from all of our BETA testers so we can make the full release even better.




METECS would like to welcome our newest team member, Deborah Roberts.  Deborah has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Houston.  In addition, she obtained her Project Management Professional certification in 2008.  Deborah has worked in various accounting/finance positions in various industries for over 25 years.  The last 16 years she has worked in the Aerospace community as a NASA contractor.  During this time she has performed integrated resource planning, project management, financial reporting, cost analysis, budgeting and subcontract management.  Welcome aboard Deborah!



A Note to UT Students

Hello UT Students!  METECS is looking forward to meeting you at the Engineering Career EXPO on September 26th.  We will have a collection of videos, demos, and information setup at our booth along with 2 of our Engineers to talk with you about the exciting work that METECS has to offer.  METECS is a small engineering-services company that provides custom simulation software for training, engineering analysis, robotics, and automation.  We are headquartered in Houston Texas near NASA's Johnson Space Center.  If you enjoy programming and utilizing your engineering skills then make sure you introduce yourself to us, ask questions, and hand us your resume.  See you soon.



A Note to UTSA Students

Hello UTSA Students!  METECS is looking forward to meeting you at the Career Fair on September 20th.  We will have a table setup with information about our company and one of our Senior Systems Engineers to answer all of your questions.  METECS is a small engineering-services company that provides custom simulation software for training, engineering analysis, robotics, and automation.  We are headquartered in Houston Texas near NASA's Johnson Space Center.  If you enjoy programming and utilizing your engineering skills then make sure you introduce yourself to us, ask questions, and hand us your resume. See you soon.



A Note to Purdue Students

Hello Purdue Students!  METECS is looking forward to meeting you at the Industrial Roundtable Career Fair on September 11th and 12th.  We have a collection of videos, demos, and information so that each of you that visits our booth will walk away with an understanding of the exciting work that METECS has to offer.  METECS is a small engineering-services company that provides custom simulation software for training, engineering analysis, robotics, and automation.  We are headquartered in Houston Texas near NASA's Johnson Space Center.  If you enjoy programming and utilizing your engineer skills then make sure you introduce yourself to us, ask questions, and hand us your resume.  See you soon.



METECS Supports the ISS Cupola Mock-Up Demo

Congratulations TS21 on the excellent demo this month!  With only 3 months notice, each of the TS21 subsystems worked together to achieve the first integration of the TS21 ISS, CTNS, and Generic Visiting Vehicle simulations  with User Support Services and Graphics in the Integration Rig.  METECS's contribution to planning, integration, and testing helped make the final product a resounding success.

The demo simulated an HTV 30 meter approach scenario by interfacing 3 simulations using HLA for interoperability.  Specific METECS contributions  included graphics integration and interfacing vehicle dynamics via HLA.  The METECS software package mRest was used to start the simulations and provide simulation health and status monitoring.

The next demo will involve a capture scenario using the METECS built PONG LEE/GF contact model and will premier the new software package, Dynamic State Management (DSM).



HTV-3 Captured and Installed on ISS

METECS would like to take a moment to celebrate HTV-3's successful delivery of approximately 7,000 pounds of supplies to the ISS.  The success on this mission depended on the capture and install of HTV-3 using the SSRMS.  METECS is proud of our contributions to SSRMS and HTV training and analysis simulations that led up to this mission.




We are delighted to welcome aboard the newest addition to the METECS team.  Frank DiGiuseppe has a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering (Dean’s List) from the University of Waterloo and a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering (concentration in robotics and computer vision) from McGill University.  While completing his Master’s degree, Frank participated in the International Space University (ISU) summer session in Toulouse France in 1991 where he experienced an intensive 10 week graduate level, multidisciplinary program involving students from all over the world.  A large part of the program is a class design project resulting in a comprehensive professional quality report.  During his summer session the project subject was an international Mars mission.  Frank spent 5 years working for a small factory automation company, Xiris Inc., in Oakville Canada, as a project/systems engineer where he was responsible for the design, programming, installation, and commissioning of machine vision systems employed in a variety of automated assembly/inspection/sorting lines.  Project requirements included strict cost and schedule limits and he was often the sole company interface to the customer.  Customers of systems he personally installed included Chrysler, Volkswagen, Texas Instruments, and 3M among others.  In 1998 he moved to (what was then) Spar Aerospace, in Brampton Canada, the designers/builders of the Canadarm and the Mobile Servicing System (MSS) for the International Space Station (ISS).  For over two years he worked as a Software Systems engineer as part of a small team responsible for the software interface between the ISS avionics and the Robotic Workstation (RWS - the top level MSS avionics box).  He was an integral part of resolving software interface and integration issues.  He was also intimately involved in various MSS integration and test (I&T) activities leading up to final acceptance and hardware delivery to KSC.  In late 2000 Frank was transferred from (now) MDA Brampton to their subsidiary office in Houston Texas, where he was able to leverage his deep and comprehensive MSS systems knowledge in support of on-orbit MSS operations as well NASA/CSA software I&T activities.  He was a key member (and eventually one of the leads) of the Extra-Vehicular Robotics (EVR) console in the ISS Mission Evaluation Room (MER) where he supported every Shuttle mission to the ISS from 5A.1 to ULF7, providing engineering support to all MSS operations.  He was also responsible for providing robotics systems support to MSS software I&T efforts at the NASA Software Development and Integration Lab (SDIL), including installing, configuring, and operating the MSS avionics data simulator.  Finally, he also worked supporting the Space Station Training Facility (SSTF) helping resolve sim to flight software integration issues.  Over the course of his years at MDA Houston he was the recipient of several NASA group and individual achievement awards including the Space Flight Awareness award and the Silver Snoopy.  Welcome aboard Frank!




Congratulations SpaceX on your successful mission! METECS is proud to have supported this incredible achievement by providing the dynamic simulation used to analyze grappling, berthing and other cargo operations associated with the SSRMS and the Dragon capsule. We feel privileged to have participated in this historic event!




METECS thanks Laura Salas for 5 years of outstanding service in contract administration. Congratulations Laura!




METECS recognizes Bob Culpepper for 5 years of outstanding service in METECS business development.  Thanks Bob!




Today we would like to welcome our newest METECS team member, Shawn Delahunty.  Shawn returns to the NASA JSC community, having worked for a brief time in the Trick lab for L-3 Communications on the Constellation project.  He comes to us with a diverse military and civilian background, which includes over 25 years of experience writing software for a huge variety of platforms.  He studied Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh before going on to serve in the US Air Force; first as a Munitions/Explosives Technician (if you see him running, try to keep up) and then as a radar/missile-silo Electronics and Comms Technician.  He specialized in aircraft missile- and precision-targeting systems, high-frequency radio, and voice/data/power systems, earning two A.S. degrees and the John L. Levitow Leadership Award in the process.  Since leaving the military in 1998, Shawn has worked in multiple industries in various managerial and technical positions.  He created and managed an Engineering QA test section for an ATM manufacturer, worked as a Lead and Senior Software Engineer at several companies, and took on the role of Project Architect at an engineering consultancy.   During this time, he wrote firmware, OS drivers, custom applications/servers, and technical/support documentation across multiple industries.  Shawn has also done board-level electronics design using small microcontrollers for control sub-systems, and FPGA design for high-speed data transfer.  Welcome aboard Shawn!



METECS Recruiting Software Engineers

METECS is currently seeking to fill permanent and intern Software Engineering positions to help develop automation, robotics, and simulation software.  Please see our Careers page for more details at




METECS would like to welcome our newest team member, Chad Zalkin.  Chad received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, class of 2005.  Chad also holds a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Texas at San Antonio, class of 2011.  Mr. Zalkin has over six years of experience in the fields of simulation, computer graphics, video games, and virtual training systems.  For the last year, Chad was with n-Space, inc. where he was instrumental developing commercial video game titles for the Xbox 360 and Playstation Vita. His contributions also extended the proprietary rendering engine and improved n-Space's internal technologies.  Prior to his time at n-Space, Chad was with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI).  At SwRI, Chad was responsible for maintaining and extending a proprietary graphics engine, as well as performing engineering tasks for a variety of training simulators.  Chad served as a developer for training simulators for spray paint training, KC-135 midair refueling, and construction equipment training simulators.  While attaining his graduate degree at the University of Texas, San Antonio, Chad contributed design and implementation to ATLAS, a high performance numerical methods package used in a variety of industries and scientific applications.  Chad's contributions served to improve the performance of critical code on the newest generation of computer processors.  Welcome aboard Chad!




We are delighted to welcome aboard a new addition to the METECS team, Tom Manning.  Tom Manning graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor's Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been employed as a NASA contractor for 23 and a half years.  Tom worked on the Space Shuttle Program, the Space Station Freedom Program, and the International Space Station Program. He also worked on many other projects.  One of those projects was the Rendezvous and Proximity Operations Program, a software package that ran on the shuttle and provided situational awareness to astronauts during the Rendezvous and Proximity Operations portions of a mission.  He also worked on the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue project in its early days developing the first version of its avionics in the loop simulation with 3-D graphics.  Tom also worked on the Autonomous EVA Robotics Camera (AERCam) through 3 iterations of its existence helping to design and develop GN&C flight software, integrate simulation testbeds, and integrate artificial intelligence software.  Most recently he has been working on building High Level Architecture (HLA) interfaces between the Space Station Training Facility and various visiting vehicles to the ISS.  Welcome aboard Tom!



METECS Supports Desert RATS

Congratulations to the NASA Desert RATS team who recently completed a three day test of the functionality and habitability of the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle.  METECS was instrumental in the simulation and 3D graphics development for this exciting project!



METECS Attends I/ITSEC 2011

METECS is currently pursuing challenges outside of our core NASA customer base.  Our collaborative discussions with PEO STRI, RDECOM, and supporting contractors provided multiple points of entry for us to leverage our NASA expertise and assets in the ongoing effort to improve the safety and efficiency of today's warfighter.



Frank Graffagnino receives Silver Snoopy!

METECS congratulates our own Frank Graffagnino on his receipt of the prestigious Silver Snoopy Award.  NASA's Astronaut Office awards the Silver Snoopy for outstanding performance to those employees who have significantly contributed to the space agency's goals for human exploration and development of space. Frank receive his snoopy for outstanding contributions to graphics rendering capabilities at JSC and in particular for contributions to future human spaceflight through the Engineering Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics for Exploration (EDGE) software package.



Congratulations to Tom Smith and An Huynh

METECS recognizes Tom Smith and An Huynh for 5 years of outstanding service.  Thanks Tom and An!



MBDYN v2.15 released

Version 2.15 of the flexible multi-body dynamics package “MBDYN” was released today. Highlights of new the release include:

  • Synchronized Trick 10 and Trick 07 MBDYN interfaces

  • Enhanced interface routines for:

    • Obtaining system center of mass state

    • Updating rigid properties of a body after initialization

  • New Capabilities:

    • Dynamically add generic pointers to MBDYN groups, bodies and POIs for associating non-MBDYN data with select MBDYN structures

    • Dynamically add collect elements to POI and joint collects

METECS is proud of our contributions to MBDYN and congratulates the developers of this great product.




METECS co-presented a paper with NASA and explored potential collaborations which could leverage our mREST product and our NASA experience with Test and Simulation Orchestration.




Congrats Dextre!

METECS congratulates NASA, CSA, and MDA on the successful completion of Dextre’s first ISS maintenance task.   We are proud of the simulation, training, and analysis work we performed in support of this ground breaking operation.  METECS now looks forward to the new challenges associated with the expanding envelope of on-orbit robotic capabilities.




METECS is committed to excellence in the fields of simulation, modeling, and 3D graphics.  The mixing of ideas a this year's SIGGRAPH is sure to enhance our leadership role in these technologies.  A special thanks to the city of Vancouver, you were a great host!



Welcome home Atlantis.

As we hear "wheel stop" called for the final time, we would like to take a moment to thank all of those who have contributed to the Space Shuttle program.  The Space Shuttle was an inspiring craft, and an engineering marvel.  METECS is proud to have been a part of the program and we look forward to the new programs of the future.



Welcome aboard Ken!

METECS would like to welcome our newest team member, Dr. Ken Huffman.

Ken received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Chico, class of 1984. Ken also holds Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Davis, class of 1991 and 1995 respectively.

Dr. Huffman has over 20 years of experience in the fields of simulation, dynamics, controls, robotics, systems integration, 3D graphics, avionics, and virtual training systems. For the last 5 years Ken has been with Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) where he served in multiple capacities including proposal manager, project manager, developer, and consultant on numerous government and commercial projects related to simulation and training. Specifically, Dr. Huffman was the lead developer and project manager on a line of construction equipment training simulators ( developed in cooperation with John Deere Construction and Forestry. Additionally, Ken served as project manager and developer on training simulators for aircraft engine maintenance, telecommunication equipment maintenance, and other applications. Due to the disparate requirements associated with these projects, Dr. Huffman evaluated and utilized numerous proprietary and commercial-off-the-shelf solutions to dynamics, 3D graphics, contact dynamics, and simulation architecture.

Prior to his engagement at SwRI (1995-2006), Dr. Huffman supported the Automation Robotics and Simulation Division (AR&SD) at Johnson Space Center (JSC). Dr. Huffman was instrumental in the development of many tools and training/analysis simulations used throughout JSC. Specifically, Ken designed and developed the “moving object model” which simulated dynamics, contact dynamics, and payload management in TRICK based robotic and EVA training simulations. Additionally, Dr. Huffman re-engineered Charlotte, the Virtual Reality Lab (VR Lab) mass-handling robot and simulation to include contact dynamics, robotic hand offs, and have a more robust hardware design. Other VR Lab activities included augmenting the Dynamic Onboard Ubiquitous Graphics (DOUG) package with a flight software based Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS) plugin, integrating the TRICK dynamic SRMS simulation with VR Lab training, and designing and operating numerous specialized training simulations driven by unplanned and off-nominal flight operations. Dr. Huffman was also the Principal Investigator on a Phase II SBIR which developed a prototype cable driven linear actuator for use in full-flight simulator motion platforms.

While performing graduate studies at the University of California, Davis (1989-1995), Ken designed and developed a virtual reality bobsled simulator for the United State Bobsled Team. This simulator utilized parameterized dynamics to accurately simulate the bobsled trajectory in response to driver inputs. This response drove an immersive 3D graphics scene enclosed in a motion based cockpit. The simulator was used for training at the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France and in preparation for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games at Lillehammer, Norway.



MBDYN v2.10 released

Version 2.10 of the flexible multi-body dynamics package "MBDYN" was released today. Some new features include:

  • Added system center of mass interface routines. Added condition variable of mass matrix.

  • Enhanced Points of Interest (POIs) to handle flex.

  • Moved documents to appropriate docs folder. Added readme for the sims (SIM_README.txt).

  • Added MBDYN presentation to docs area.

Congratulations to the developers of this great product.



EDGE v2.2 released

EDGE v2.2 was released today and represents the culmination of many months of effort, both in bug fixes and new features.

EDGE v2.2 screenshot

Some of these new features include:

  • Blooming and Ambient Occlusion

  • Auto-iris capability

  • ATI/AMD hardware support

  • Movie recording and offline rendering

  • Embedded Web Server

  • Frame locking across multiple displays

  • Tcl/Tk upgrade to 8.5

  • Trails/Breadcrumbs

  • DNS Service Discovery (DNS-SD)

  • Ability to scale models on load

  • TRICK 10 Simulation support

  • New debugging tools

  • Mac support

  • Windows support

  • ... many others

Congratulations to all of the developers who have worked so hard on this new release.



Welcome aboard Jason!

METECS would like to welcome our new team member, Jason Plummer.

Jason holds a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University, class of 1992, with a sub-speciality in Mechanical Engineering. Jason also holds a Masters of Science from the University of Alabama Birmingham, class of 1996, with a sub-speciality in Finite Element Biomechanics and Automotive Safety.

At the NASA Johnson Space Center, Jason played an instrumental role in the design, architecture, and implementation of the both the Constellation Training Facility software development lab (CxTF, now called the TS21 lab) and the Orion Integration Demo Rig in Building 5. Prior to that Jason worked for 7 and a half years in the telecommunication industry; first as a network administrator, and then later as a system design engineer in the public safety 2-way radio division. As a system design engineer, Jason was responsible for the synthesis and maturity of new business requirements for OS/application provisioning, disaster recovery, and business continuance in the public safety radio products.

We are very excited to add Jason to our team. Welcome aboard Jase-Man!



Welcome aboard Jeremy!

Today we would like to welcome a new member of the METECS team, Jeremy Moreau.

Jeremy attended the University of Louisiana where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering with an emphasis on Computer Engineering.  Jeremy also attended Louisiana State University where he developed an interest in experimental algorithms and ultimately earned a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering.

Jeremy also has experience in the NASA community. He has worked with various types of avionics hardware related to the Orion spacecraft, as well as various Orion simulations and the interfacing with avionics.

We are excited to have Jeremy as part of our team.  Welcome aboard Jeremy!



Welcome aboard Dan!

Dan Jordan is the newest addition to the METECS team and we are very excited to have him!

Dan Jordan attended Penn State University, where he earned his Bachelor's and Master's Degree in Aerospace Engineering. His thesis focuses on applying genetic algorithms to solve complex dynamical systems with emphasis on orbital mechanics applications.

Welcome aboard Dan!



Welcome aboard John!

METECS would like to welcome our newest team member, John Borland.

John is a graduate from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.  John has spent more then 5 years working at NASA's Johnson Space Center working with various NASA TRICK based simulations.  He also has significant experience in the maintenance and operation of NASA's Mobile Servicing System (MSS) robotic simulations, and the MSS flight hardware.

Of course, anyone that knows John knows that he also brings a great sense of humor.  We are very happy to have him on the METECS team.  Welcome aboard John!



Congratulations Pat!

He is unstoppable! Congratulations to Pat for successfully finishing the Western States 100 mile ultra-marathon this weekend in under 30 hours! He continues to inspire us.



Welcome 2010 Summer Interns

METECS is proud to welcome aboard our interns for the summer of 2010.

This year we are pleased to have Jessica Turner, Jason Ekstrand, and James MacLean perform their internships at METECS. This is the second internship at METECS for Jessica and James and the first for Jason. They will contribute to our efforts at NASA and we look forward to a fun summer with them.



EDGE v2.1 Released

A 3D simulation of the space station.The Engineering DOUG Graphics for Exploration (EDGE) completed the release of version 2.1.

EDGE is a real-time 3D graphics product developed at Johnson Space Center and led by METECS.

Congratulations to METECS employee Frank Graffagnino on leading the release of such a
great product, and to all those who contributed to EDGE v2.1 development and testing.



A note for students at Fall Career Fairs

This September METECS is busy visiting Engineering Career Fairs at universities. We
have put together a collection of videos, demos, and information so that each student
who visits our booth will walk away with an understanding of the exciting work that
METECS has to offer.

METECS is a small company based on site at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Our primary
focus is on simulation work which relies heavily on programming and utilizing
engineering skills. Although each individual at METECS is unique, we all share a strong
work ethic, good communication skills, and an overwhelming enthusiasm for contributing
to the space industry.

We encourage everyone from freshmen to senior undergraduate students along with
graduate students to visit our booth and learn more about us. If METECS sounds like the
type of company you envision yourself working for, make sure you introduce yourself to
us, ask questions, and give us your resume.

We look forward to meeting you!



PONG v2.0 Beta Released

METECS is proud to announce the release of version 2.0 beta of PONG. Congratulations
to the employees who have put so much great work into this tool.

PONG is a contact dynamics modeling tool that communicates and interacts with Blender,
an open source graphics package. PONG takes the creations of users within Blender and
exports data files to a real-time contact dynamics engine that can be embedded into
simulations. This engine will provide for detection of contact as well as calculation of
contact and frictional forces. Also, tools for visualization within Blender are included. With
all of these capabilities, PONG has been used to support NASA's need for engineering
analysis and training with NASA's TRICK simulations.

METECS would like to graciously thank everyone who has contributed to the
development, testing, and usage of the tool thus far. We looks forward to their continued
support as we work to move PONG v2.0 out of beta in the coming months.



Thanks to our 2009 Summer Interns

METECS would like to thank our 2009 Summer interns for their hard work this summer.

Jessica Turner, Darius Williams, and James MacLean, all did an outstanding job.
Contributions included the prototyping of a real-time contact dynamics engine within our
simulations, the development of a 3 DOF translational hand controller for use with space
vehicle simulations and simulation development, and the construction of a plastic hand
controller grip.

We hope that all of our interns had an exciting summer with us, and we wish them the
best in their future endeavors.



Welcome aboard Drake!

Drake Deno has been the latest addition to the METECS team and we are very excited to
welcome Drake back as a member.

Drake recently graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in
Mechanical Engineering. Drake developed a strong interest in dynamic modeling while
attending Purdue and in his previous internships with METECS. As a senior, Drake led a
two man team that developed an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (U.A.V.) for their senior
design project over the course of the entire senior year. The project demanded initial
concept design and reviews, analysis, redesign, final review, and fabrication.

Drake rejoins the METECS team for his fourth time. He was a previous intern here at
METECS for three years and contributed to many tools and models. METECS is excited
and glad to have Drake back and we look forward to his future contributions.

Welcome aboard Drake!



Metecs welcomes 2009 summer interns

The Metecs team is very excited to welcome aboard two interns this summer.

Darius Williams is from Pearland, Texas and is a senior at the University of Texas at
Austin. In the Spring of 2010 he will receive a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace
Engineering and a Bachelor of Art in French. Darius recently participated in the UT/JSC
TRICK program, a modeling and simulation initiative where a team of 8 students
successfully interfaced OGRE, an open-source graphics engine with NASA's Trick
simulation environment. Aside from his interests in dynamics, modeling and simulation,
and languages, Darius plays the violin and will spend the summer learning the cello.

Jessica Turner is a senior at the University of Michigan-Dearborn, dual majoring in
Electrical and Computer Engineering. While she is in school, she stays busy as the
president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), vice president of
the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, and an active member in Society of Women
Engineers. In her free time, she enjoys kickboxing and reading. Jessica has always
dreamed of working in the space industry and is excited to contribute to it this summer.

Welcome aboard Darius and Jessica!



A note for Purdue students

Hello to all of the Purdue students!

METECS will be attending the upcoming career fair at Purdue University, and we would
like to say a special hello to all those who are checking out the website and the company.

As a brief introduction, METECS is a small company currently focused on simulation work
at NASA's Johnson Space Center.

This work requires students with strong work ethic, good communication skills (since our
employee often correspond with the customer directly), good engineering skills, and a
desire to program (the work involves engineering tasks that are normally accomplished
through programming simulations).

If a small company with a dynamic work environment is something you are looking for,
we would love to talk with you!

See you there.



Welcome aboard Angela!

Angela Reeves is the latest addition to the METECS team and we are very excited to have
her as a member.

Angela recently graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in
Aerospace Engineering. She developed an interest in dynamic modeling and simulation
while contributing to a guided missile model at an internship located in her hometown of
Plano, Texas. While in school, Angela led a six person team (which included another
METECS recent hire, Thomas Brain) in a project which led to gaining Johnson Space
Center's support to launch the Modeling and Simulation Initiative at the University of
Texas. This team successfully modeled, simulated, and animated a six degree of freedom
rendezvous scenario. This task included interfacing TRICK - the simulation software used
at Johnson Space Center - with the animation software in the UT Visualization Lab.

Welcome aboard Angela!



Welcome aboard Bryce!

We are very happy to announce a new member on the METECS team.

Bryce Kovel is a recent graduate of the University of Texas where he obtained an M.S. in
Aerospace Engineering. While in Austin, Bryce was responsible for the rendezvous
analysis of LSTAR, a mission design project that won second place in the national Ra-scal
graduate competition. His undergraduate work was done at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical
University where he obtained his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering.

Welcome aboard Bryce!



Metecs goes to the University of Texas

METECS attended the University of Texas Engineering Expo this past week and met many great students.

Thank you to all of the students that dropped by our booth to speak with us and learn
more about the company. Also, thank you to the expo organizers and staffers. It was a
great event and we look forward to returning.



Pat wins prestigious award

Metecs employee Pat McCartney was recently the recipient of our company's most
prestigious award - the "Empty Envelope Award".

Pat's contributions to the company and also to NASA are outstanding. Congratulations
to Pat for his achievements. You are greatly appreciated.



Being thankful

During this Thanksgiving, we at METECS would like to take a moment to say how
thankful we are to our team members and our customers. Needless to say, we
would not be where we are without such devoted employees.



Welcome aboard Thomas!

We are delighted to welcome aboard the newest addition to the METECS team.

Thomas Brain is a recent graduate from the University of Texas where he obtained a B.S.
in Aerospace Engineering. While there, Thomas was also a contributer to a joint project
between NASA and the University of Texas. This project simulated a two-body
rendezvous using NASA's Trick simulation environment and also integrated real-time
output of Trick with the Visualization Lab at UT.

Welcome aboard Thomas!



After Ike

Hurricane Ike has changed life in the Houston/Galveston area in just a matter of hours.

Metecs would like to express our sympathies to those who lost so much in the storm and
the aftermath. We are looking forward to getting back to work at Johnson Space Center
and getting our communities back up and running.



A New Group of Tennessee Students Learn about Space Robotics

Patrick McCartney, a robotics simulation engineer at METECS, spoke to a group of high
school students at Cleveland High School in Cleveland, Tennessee last week. Mr.
McCartney spoke at Cleveland High School last fall and was invited to come speak again
to a new group of students who will be studying biomedical engineering as part of
"Project Lead the Way".

Patrick talked about the history of the US space program, provided some examples of
how technology developed at NASA has been applied in the medical field, and then
transitioned into how robotic manipulators are currently being used to assemble the
International Space Station. He also presented detailed information about work he
recently performed preparing a high-fidelity simulation to analyze a robotic operation on
the Space Station and another application that is being used to develop a rescue scenario
for the upcoming Hubble Space Telescope maintenance mission.

It was clear from the numerous questions that the students were very interested in the
material being presented. Patrick would like to thank everyone who came and also for
being very respectful and attentive during the event. Patrick would also like to thank
teacher Erin Hattabaugh for the opportunity to share about his work at METECS and with



Special thanks to our 2008 interns!

Our summer interns of 2008 - Burton Chen, Gage Eads and Drake Deno.METECS is very grateful to have had three wonderful interns with us this summer. Not
only were they a great addition to our team this summer, they also accomplished a great

Burton Chen came to METECS from the University of Texas and worked on implementing
a Coulomb friction model into NASA's robotics simulation. The friction model uses an
iterative numerical procedure proposed by Y.M. Kao, Y. Yang, and L. Nguyen. Burton was
able to complete the implementation and show that the method successfully eliminated
certain noise and unwanted behavior in the joint rates, improving our robotics simulation

Gage Eads is also from the University of Texas. Gage worked on simulation code that
models line-plane contact. This model uses collision detection to verify an intersection
between a line and a plane, and then computes the necessary forces and moment about
the two interacting objects to realistically simulate contact. Using this software, complex
simulations using points, lines and planes are able to model intricate robotic interactions
that occur on the Space Station.

Drake Deno returned this summer from Purdue University for his third internship with
Metecs. Drake continued development on a contact modeling tool that he had worked on
in previous internships. This tool allows users to define contact geometries and surface
properties graphically. It then exports this data into a contact simulation which will
adequately generate forces and torques generates by contact of the interfaces. Drake's
tool was quickly put to use to generate a model used to help the astronauts train a
robotics operation where a sensitive payload on the International Space Station will be
inserted and extracted from a Japanese vehicle.

All in all, the interns did some amazing work! We hope they enjoyed their time here as
much as we did, and we hope the experience, knowledge, and contacts they acquired will
be useful to them in the future.

Good luck Burton, Drake, and Gage in your studies and your future endeavors. We hope
to hear from you soon.


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CORPORATE OFFICE:   1030 Hercules Ave  |  Houston, TX 77058  |  Phone: 832.476.8651