Tech Fest V: Keynote Speaker Brooks R. Kimmel

Brooks Kimmel began his career in the space industry as an industrial hygienist protecting workers from chemical and manufacturing hazards.  After several years, he was promoted to a safety engineering position designing safety protocols for people working with highly hazardous and pressurized systems.  This experience provided an opportunity for him to serve where he currently is working as Deputy Director of Safety, Health and Mission Assurance for Abacus Technology Corporation at NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Florida.  Abacus runs the spaceport Information Management and Communications Services for KSC.  This contract provides communication, imaging, graphic, and IT services for the astronauts and the entire spaceport at KSC.

His duties include guiding a group of highly talented engineers as they pave the way for a safe and healthful work environment.  In addition, he ensures the success of each mission by leading a team of system, quality and reliability engineers to be certain critical systems never fail.  Brooks has also been a member of the NASA Speaker’s Bureau since 2005 and has provided presentations on Spin-off Technology, Dreaming Big, coping with change, conflict resolution and Space Engineering – Helping the World.  He has presented talks from a small group of kindergartners all the way up to being the Key Note speaker at national engineering conventions.  

Prior to working KSC, Brooks was a science teacher at Bayside High School in Palm Bay, Florida.  Brooks taught chemistry, physics and space science.  His educational experience also included coaching football and track, as well as announcing basketball and wrestling events.  He presented teaching methodology at countywide conferences and developed district-wide FCAT practice assessment tests. 

Brooks worked for seven years as the Area Director for Young Life in a region covering Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.  As area director, Brooks provided motivational speeches, coordinated fund raising events and developed leaders to reach out to troubled teens.

Brooks received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from the Ohio State University, and is currently working toward his Master of Science in Occupational Safety and Health at Columbia-Southern University.  He has been honored throughout his career with many awards and nominations – a few he is most proud of include receiving the Golden Achiever Award in 2005, the Awesome Achievers Award in 2004, nominated as Teacher of the Year in 2003, and was the Area Director of the Year in 1998.  He is married and has 3 children.