Ag Alumni Profile - Slade Peters '06 ABE

Posted: September 26, 2013

The sky is not the limit for Slade Peters, NASA Fluid Systems Engineer. A Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences degree can take you anywhere, and for Slade it involves launching vehicles and astronauts into space! He says that the most rewarding part has been to watch the space shuttles launch and get the astronauts back to Earth safely.
Slade Peters '06 ABE

Slade Peters '06 ABE

By Jena Sigel, Ag Alumni Relations Intern

Career: Fluid Systems Engineer, NASA

Jena Sigel, Ag Alumni Relations Intern and Animal Sciences major, talked with Slade Peters '06 Agricultural Biological Engineering about his career path with NASA.

 1.    How has being a Penn State and College of Agricultural Sciences alumnus benefited your career?

I think it has benefited me in numerous ways. My education and experience helped me understand the fundamentals of engineering and how to apply them. The close knit community and family atmosphere of the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences has helped teach me the value of team work and I use those skills every day.

2.    What has been the most rewarding part of your career?

Seeing the space shuttles and future launch vehicles take off into space is exciting but being a part of getting the astronauts back to earth safely is by far the most rewarding part.

3.    What is your favorite creamery flavor?

Monster Mash

4.    What advice would you give to current students?

Once you get out of school and start working in your field, work with a person in the company who has plenty of experience and wisdom. Listen and absorb their knowledge because it will be invaluable to you throughout your career. Work on as many tasks as you can early on and work hard. Do not be afraid to volunteer to work extra hours or on extra projects. This experience will only help you perform your job better and gain the valuable experience needed to further your career.

"I work for NASA as a Fluid Systems Engineer.  I specialize in hydraulics and auxiliary power units used to maneuver manned spaceflight vehicles as they launch into space," says Peters.

Peters ensures that the hydraulic and auxillary power units on the launch vehicles are safe to operate. If they are not safe, he works with the hydraulic team to fix them and ensure that they are safe. He is the Auxiliary Power Unit and Hydraulic Lead for Ground Processing Directorate at Kennedy Space Center and he helped successfully process and launch the Space Shuttle hydraulic systems. Currently Peters is working with the Marshall Space Flight Center and other design members to help design new hydraulic and auxiliary power unit systems for the Space Launch System that is projected to launch in early 2018.

In college, Peters was involved in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering Student Society (ASABE), and served as the president his senior year. In this club, he worked closely with Agricultural System Management students to help build and design a competitive quarter scale pulling tractor.

Peters comes from a dairy farm in Pennsylvania and currently resides with his fiance in Titusville, Florida.

For more information, contact Ag Alumni Relations Intern, Jena Sigel at