Date of Award

Winter 2011

Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Engineering (D Eng)


Engineering Management

Committee Director

Ariel Pinto

Committee Member

Ghaith Rabadi

Committee Member

Maria Pazos-Lago

Committee Member

William Jarvis


NASA is a good investment of federal funds and strives to provide the best value to the nation. NASA has consistently budgeted to unrealistic cost estimates, which are evident in the cost growth in many of its programs. In this investigation, NASA has been using available uncertainty factors from the Aerospace Corporation, Air Force, and Booz Allen Hamilton to develop projects' risk posture. NASA has no insight into the developmental of these factors and, as demonstrated here, this can lead to unrealistic risks in many NASA Programs and projects (P/p). The primary contribution of this project is the development of NASA missions' uncertainty factors, from actual historical NASA projects, to aid cost-estimating as well as for independent reviews which provide NASA senior management with information and analysis to determine the appropriate decision regarding P/p. In general terms, this research project advances programmatic analysis for NASA projects.