Inventors Hall of Fame

April 21, 2022

This is a re-post from NASA TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER PROGRAM

Picture of James E. Fesmire

Biography

James E. Fesmire is founder of the Cryogenics Test Laboratory at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where he led research into novel energy technology and materials. Fesmire is now the Chief Architect and CTO at GenH2.

Fesmire has over 35 years of experience in cryogenics and low-temperature problem-solving, specializing in all aspects of liquid hydrogen storage and transfer. His cryogenic systems design work helped to advance efforts for the space shuttle, the International Space Station, future Moon and Mars exploration, experimental rocket programs, commercial space launch vehicles and facilities, superconducting power, hydrogen storage and transfer, and many commercial and industrial applications.

Fesmire is a pioneer in Flexible Aerogel Superinsulation, starting with the initial research partnership with Aspen Systems in 1993. The aerogel-based materials have solved numerous problems in space and on the Earth and have enabled new energy-saving and architectural approaches for design solutions of all kinds. These commercial products by Aspen Aerogels provide the ultimate in low thermal conductivity materials are now used extensively in a range of industry and consumer sectors including energy, transportation, construction, apparel and many more.

Driven by the need for better ways of designing systems for dealing with energy, and the extremes of hot and cold, Fesmire has developed a family cryostat instruments for materials testing. These instruments enabled the establishment of new international standards and opened the means for universities, institutions, and companies world-wide to develop materials, certify systems, and obtain vital thermal test data for a wide range of products. These instruments are now in operation in many different locations and their use is key part of global development plans for future clean energy systems.

Fesmire has authored numerous patents in the area of thermal insulation systems, novel materials, and cryogenic testing. He has been awarded NASA medals for Distinguished Service, Exceptional Technology Achievement, and Exceptional Service. He has also received an R&D 100 award and Space Technology Hall of Fame medal for aerogel insulation technology.

Education

M.S., Mechanical Engineering (Materials Science), University of Central Florida
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, with High Honor, Auburn University

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