Charles Camarda was born in Queens, New York and received his undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1974. Upon graduation, he began work at NASA’s Langley Research Center (LaRC). He received his MS from George Washington University in mechanical engineering in 1980 and a PhD in aerospace engineering from Virginia Tech in 1990. He was head of the Thermal Structures Branch at LaRC in 1996 when he was selected to be an astronaut. Camarda flew on the return-to-flight mission of Space Shuttle, STS-114, in 2005. He was selected director of engineering at the Johnson Space Center in December 2005 and is currently senior advisor for innovation and on detail assignment to NYU-Poly as a distinguished engineer in residence.