BEHS graduate honored for role in space program

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. Timothy L. O’Brien, son of Marion M. O’Brien of Charleston and the late Gilbert M. O’Brien, and a 1974 graduate of Bishop England High School, was among 48 Kennedy Space Center (KSC) employees who were honored recently for their exemplary work at the nation’s spaceport.

Born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, O’Brien received a bachelor’s degree in industrial/systems engineering from the University of Florida in Gainesville in 1979, and a master’s in engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1991. He served in the Navy from 1979-85, attaining the rank of lieutenant in the Supply Corps. He also has served in the Naval Reserve since 1986, and has the rank of lieutenant commander in the Supply Corps. He has earned several military awards, including the National Defense Service Medal.

At KSC, O’Brien is employed by NASA as an industrial engineer with Shuttle Processing Integration. He joined the Space Center in 1988.

O’Brien and his wife, Donna Bernardi O’Brien, live in Rockledge, Fla. They have two children. O’Brien is active in community affairs, and serves as president of the St. Mary’s School Board.

The Honoree Award is the highest form of recognition bestowed upon an employee by the NASA Space Flight Awareness Program. The 48 employees selected were part of a contingent of some 250 NASA and contractor employees from throughout the space agency being honored for their professional dedication and outstanding achievement in support of the human space flight program.

The honorees were given a VIP tour of the Kennedy Space Center and attended a special reception. Honoring them were several astronauts and senior NASA and industry officials of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station team. The honorees also were taken to a special VIP viewing area to watch the STS-86 launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis on Sept. 25.

Kennedy Space Center is the launch site and preferred landing site for NASA’s Space Shuttles. STS-86 was the seventh docking of the Space Shuttle with the Russian Space Station Mir.