Colloquium: November 2, 2010

Sustainable Design of Langley Research Center’s New Town and Future Infrastructure

by George Finelli

TUESDAY: November 2, 2010 2:00 P.M. in the H.J.E. Reid Auditorium


The NASA Langley Research Center’s 93 years of existence have produced breakthroughs for the nation in aeronautics and space technology. It’s illustrious history has also presented the current operators with significant challenges of aging and inefficient infrastructure. For almost 10 years now, Langley leadership has been on a path to rejuvenate the center and transform it into a true 21st century laboratory. Dubbed “New Town,” Langley is implementing a well-planned revitalization effort to modernize the lab with state-of-the-art research facilities that are efficient to operate and friendly to the environment.

Mr. Finelli will present the sustainable design features being incorporated into Langley Research Center’s New Town buildings and planned future research infrastructure. Modern facilities currently in design and under construction will utilize multiple state-of-the-art technologies to serve as national examples of environmental stewardship and leading-edge research laboratories during our current era of competitive economic and climatic challenges. Sustainable, low-impact-design technologies being incorporated into Langley’s facilities include geothermal heating and cooling, solar photovoltaic electricity, green roofs, passive solar heating and cooling, and responsible stormwater management. Future research facilities must be designed to the additional challenge of maintaining Langley’s worldwide preeminence in aeronautical and aerospace, as well as climate monitoring technologies.


George FinelliMr. George B. Finelli is the Director of the Center Operations Directorate (COD) at the NASA Langley Research Center, which provides operations and research support services to the entire research, engineering, and administrative community at the Center. Specific functions include facility engineering and maintenance, security, environmental management, logistics management, real property and space utilization management, master planning, and utilities and energy management.

Prior to this, Mr. Finelli was the Director of the NASA Aviation Safety and Security Program within the Aeronautics Mission Directorate. During this assignment, he was the executive NASA participant on the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, which was awarded the 2008 Robert J. Collier Trophy for “achieving an unprecedented safety level in U.S. commercial airline operations by reducing risk of a fatal airline accident by 83 percent, resulting in two consecutive years of no commercial scheduled airline fatalities.” The Collier Trophy is awarded annually by the National Aeronautics Association for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.

Before other project and program assignments, Mr. Finelli was a researcher and Research Group Leader in the area of highly reliable, fault-tolerant computing for aerospace applications. He was the coauthor of a paper that was awarded Langley’s H.J.E. Reid Award for most outstanding technical paper in 1997.

Mr. Finelli has been awarded NASA’s Exceptional Service and Outstanding Leadership Medals, as well as multiple Group Achievement Awards. He also received the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award in 2007.

Mr. Finelli has been with NASA Langley since 1980, when he graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with a Master of Science degree in Statistics. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Public Administration degree from Troy State University.