ECDC is saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend and board member Dr. Henning W. Leidecker, Jr., a distinguished scientist, educator, and dedicated member of the NASA community.
Henning was born on September 9, 1941. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics and a minor in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in 1963. He earned a Ph.D. in Physics in 1968 with a dissertation entitled “The Temperature and Frequency Dependence of the Dielectric Response of Linear Polymers Computed Using Two-Time Temperature-Dependent Green Function.”
His passion for physics and dedication to education led him to The American University, where he served as a professor of physics from 1967 to 1985. During his tenure, he mentored and guided numerous students, overseeing the graduation of 10 Ph.D. candidates and several master’s students
In 1985, Dr. Leidecker’s career took him to the Goddard Space Flight Center, where he served as a Failure Analyst. His tenure at Goddard was punctuated by many accolades, including the prestigious QASAR Award for Safety & Mission Assurance in 1999 and 2000, the Robert C. Baumann Memorial Award for Contributions to Mission Success in 2000, and the Flight Awareness Award in 2001. His outstanding leadership was recognized with the NASA Agency Exceptional Service Medal in 2003, the NASA Agency Outstanding Leadership Award in 2004, and the GSFC Award of Merit in 2004. Additionally, his pioneering work in engineering was acknowledged with the NASA Agency Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal in 2005 as well as numerous other awards.
Besides his professional achievements, Dr. Leidecker was a respected member of various scientific communities. He served as the chair of the GSFC Senior Fellows and made significant contributions to the avionics section of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center. He also served as president of the National Capital Astronomers organization. Beyond his scientific pursuits, Dr. Leidecker was deeply committed to community service. He was a dedicated and generous member of ECDC’s board for many years.
Dr. Leidecker’s brilliance, kindness, and dedication have left a lasting imprint on all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Allene F. Wright and his son Jonathan. A celebration of life details is still to be determined.