In 1951, Dr. John P. Gyekenyesi immigrated to the United States and upon completing high school in 1957, he earned a scholarship to the Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University). Although he originally wanted to venture into piloting, he began his career at the start of the space race and was convinced to become a space engineer. In 1961, he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western Reserve University and became a test engineer for the Ohio Crankshaft Company in Cleveland, OH. Dr. Gyekenyesi became a registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio in 1962 and served as a design engineer, department manager and then senior engineer in the structures division of NASA Glenn Research Center for more than four decades from 1962 to 2006. During his time at the Glenn Research Center, he received a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Case Western Reserve University in 1966 and a Doctor of Philosophy in mechanics from Michigan State University in 1972. After this appointment, he became a senior engineer in the structures and materials division of the NASA Glenn Research Center until his retirement in 2013.
In addition to his primary appointments in space engineering, Dr. Gyekenyesi is also a fellow of the American Ceramic Society. Previously, he served as a consultant in structures for the Sari Corporation in Cleveland and as an adjunct professor in mechanics at Cleveland State University. As an accomplished professional, Dr. Gyekenyesi has developed computational techniques which led to new solutions to 3-D crack problems. He was also the first to develop general purpose ceramic component life prediction software (CARES), and he conducted research in failure mechanisms in ceramic matrix composites. He has also contributed more than 80 articles to professional journals and several chapters to industry books. Throughout his career, Dr. Gyekenyesi most enjoyed the last five years in his position at NASA when he joined the organization’s safety committee. He was able to review shuttle crashes, evaluate companies such as SpaceX, and participate in an international exchange through which he traveled to Japan and Europe. In his spare time, he enjoys playing soccer.
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