News

Space Dynamics Laboratory Appoints New Director

USURF
June 6, 2003

Mike PavichLOGAN - The Utah State University Research Foundation appointed Michael D. Pavich, retired Major General of U.S. Air Force, as the new director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory after Allan Steed announced he would be retiring as director after 40 years of service with SDL.

"I am honored to have the opportunity to participate with an organization that has such an impressive background and list of accomplishments over the last 50 years," said Pavich. "I look forward to becoming better acquainted with the employees of SDL and finding out what I can contribute to enhancing the Lab."

Pavich earned a bachelor's in military science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a master's in aerospace engineering through the Air Force Institute of Technology and graduated from the Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Prior to joining SDL, Pavich had a 29-year career with the U.S. Air Force where he served as Commander of the Sacramento Air Logistic Center. He was responsible for a 12,000-member workforce and a $3.6 billion annual budget. A major area of emphasis included life-cycle support for major aircraft systems including the F-117 stealth fighter and the F-22 tactical fighter.

During his Air Force career, he held senior staff positions at Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command, he commanded the 62nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and flew over 100 missions in North Vietnam. He has over 3,000 flying hours in tactical aircraft, with a major focus in reconnaissance systems.

After retiring from the Air Force, Pavich became the C.E.O of the Utah Defense Alliance, a nonprofit group organized to promote the economic growth and welfare of the Utah Wasatch Front area by supporting the continuing prosperity and development of Hill Air Force Base and Defense Depot Ogden. Most recently he was the director of the Executive director of the Ogden Local Redevelopment Authority.

"All change can be viewed as a loss," said Kermit L. Hall, president of Utah State. "The great challenge is to understand the opportunity that comes with change and become better than we were before."

Pavich plans to get a feel for the organizational structure of SDL and to better understand the direction the organization is currently heading before making any course adjustments.

"It will take a while and to get my feet on the ground," Pavich said. "I have not grown up at the Space Dynamics Laboratory like previous directors, so I have an interesting learning curve ahead of me."

Pavich said he believes there is a tremendous potential for SDL to continue to grow and contribute to society. He said the Lab will continue to solidify its place in the community of science and research.

"I see the potential for wonderful things in the future for SDL," Pavich said. "The biggest contribution that I can bring is enthusiasm and support for what the lab is doing."

Pavich is scheduled to begin work July 1. He will work with Steed for a transition period before taking over as director of the lab.

"Mike has the experience, credentials and personal characteristics that can truly take the Lab confidently and positively into the future," said Steed. "I look forward to working with him during the leadership transition period and commit my full support to do whatever I can to contribute to his, and the Lab's, successful future."

The Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL) is a nonprofit research corporation owned by Utah State University. SDL has developed and operated over 500 payloads, including shuttle experiments, real-time reconnaissance systems and satellite-based sensor suites. SDL's core competencies include infrared and hyperspectral sensor development, data compression and visualization, cryogenic systems, and sensor calibration.