NASA officer mitigates risk with MBA teams

Students had to perform a risk assessment based on the men’s research.

NASA officer David Lengyel was invited Tuesday to MU to simulate a risk management scenario with MBA students in the Trulaske College of Business.

Lengyel, an MU graduate, is the Risk and Knowledge Management Officer for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. 

Steven Newman from the ARES Corporation accompanied Lengyl in the presentation. Newman joined ARES in September 2006. He was in service for 32 years with NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration.

“NASA has an education program STEM, Science Technology Engineering Mathematics, which demands that we reach out to the student community to share knowledge and ideas,” Lengyel said. “The Space Act of 1958 specifies how expansion of human knowledge is at the core of NASA.”

Two 90-minute workshops of 20 MBA students each were conducted. Students were given a four-page case study of NASA’s Super Lightweight Tank and were asked to provide an assessment of risks associated with modifying the design.

After playing a series of videos that provided background information, students were divided into teams and asked to present a risk management strategy.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the case,” graduate student Dibjot Singh said.

James Samorian worked closely with the MBA Office and the MBA Director Joseph Stephens to invite Lengyel and Newman to MU.

“A very important aspect of learning that occurs daily at Mizzou is providing hands-on experience and access to alumni and organizations who are successful in the real world,” Samorian said. “In turn, alumni and representatives of organizations enjoy giving back and working with the university to provide their knowledge and experience and having access to top notch students.”

Graduate student Andrew Tamchyna said he enjoyed hearing the two professionals speak about their decision-making processes and how they mitigate risk.

“The workshop was insightful, it feels great to have members of such a reputable organization share their experiences,” Tamchyna said. “It was interesting to hear what their decision-making entails and how they try mitigating risk.”

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