Director of Space Dynamics Laboratory retiring in October leaving two positions to fill

By Karen Wolfe
Utah State University Research Foundation/Space Dynamics Laboratory
July 14, 2008

North Logan, UT—The Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University has announced the upcoming retirement of its director, Mike Pavich. Pavich, who has served as SDL’s director for five years, has also held the position of president of the Utah State University Research Foundation, SDL’s governing body, for the past two years.

Pavich’s retirement will mark the return to separate positions for SDL and USURF leadership, which has historically been held by two individuals.  According to Melanie Pond, SDL’s human resources director, the reinstatement of separate positions will allow each executive to focus on distinct roles and responsibilities.

The strategic plan of the University’s research foundation, known as USURF, is focused on expanding its number of operating units.  The USURF board of trustees believes that this will ultimately strengthen Utah’s economy through the development of spinoff companies from technologies developed within the foundation.

Pavich’s tenure as director of SDL began in July 2003, while Dave Norton was the president of USURF.  Following Norton’s retirement in 2006, the USURF board nominated Pavich for the joint position of SDL director and USURF President.

“It has been five of the most exciting years of my life,” Pavich said. “These are great people. This is an organization that is very professional and very capable, yet still operates like a family.”

Pavich’s departure comes at a time when the company is growing.  The organization has increased its workforce by nearly 25 percent in less than three years, and is in a period of transition from managing only a few high-dollar space programs, to supporting more than 150 smaller programs worldwide.

The incoming director will be responsible for continuing the growth and development of SDL’s core competencies, and staying focused on the delivery of SDL programs and services to government customers.  The company currently employs over 400 employees and has a national presence, with offices in Massachusetts, New Mexico, Colorado, and the District of Columbia in addition to their headquarters in North Logan.

The preferred candidate for SDL director will be chosen by the USURF Board, and forwarded to USU President Stan Albrecht for final approval before an offer of employment is extended.

The Space Dynamics Laboratory, headquartered in North Logan, Utah is a nonprofit research corporation owned by Utah State University. SDL has designed, fabricated and operated over 400 payloads, including shuttle experiments, small satellites and satellite-based sensor systems. Core competencies include infrared and hyperspectral sensor development, data compression and processing, cryogenic systems and sensor calibration.