Since 2015, Karban has served as a NASA technical manager in the Project Management Division of the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. As a technical manager, he is a NASA expert for the verification and validation of the Ground Systems Projects being built for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). He is responsible of coordinating documents, resources and schedules for verification and validation. He also supports the project manager of the Landing and Recovery EIT in the review of handling and access design for the retrieval of the Orion capsule.
Prior to joining NASA, Karban worked in the private sector in the pharmaceutical and car industries. In 1999, during college he started with an internship experience with the Johnson and Johnson manufacturing plant in Manati, Puerto Rico, analyzing the efficiency of all the motors used by the pharmaceutical plant. In 2012, he had the opportunity to work on a co-op experience as a production supervisor of the Viper Competition Coupe in Daimler-Chrysler Headquarters in Michigan, supervising the production of the first two prototypes of the car. In 2013, Karban move back to Puerto Rico working as a plant manager for OSRAM Sylvania in Gurabo, managing the third-shift production in the manufacturing plant.
In 2004, Karban began his civil servant career at Kennedy as a mechanical and propulsion system engineer for the Launch Services Program (LSP). Karban conducted the insight and oversight of the expendable launch vehicle by inspecting the construction of their components, their assembly and supported the launches. He obtained a senior level of expertise in areas such as cryogenics, hydraulic and pneumatic systems. In 2008, he was assigned to LSP’s Program Integration Office as a business integration manager supporting business operations and resources at Kennedy.
In 2010, NASA offered him a higher grade position as a technical resources manager for the NASA Engineering Mechanical Division. He directly supported the division chief and deputy of the Mechanical Division in the Engineering and Technology Directorate at Kennedy. He served as a senior engineer coordinator/integrator of the planning, programming, development, oversight, and scheduling of the division projects and resources.
At NASA, Karban has received more than 20 awards which include On the Spot awards, a Performance Award, Time off Awards, and a Certificate of Recognition. In 2007, he was honored with the Space Flight Awareness Award, for the prevention of a potential accident and/or damage to spaceflight hardware during the launch site processing of the Delta II expendable launch vehicle used to launch the Phoenix spacecraft.
In the past 8 years, Karban has devoted himself to supporting Kennedy’s Hispanic community by working with the group known as the Hispanic Outreach and Leadership Alliance (HOLA). From 2012 to 2014, he served as the chair of HOLA.
A native of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, Karban grew up battling the dyslexia and dysgraphia impediment, also known as reading and writing disabilities. Even with doctors in the areas of his impediment saying that he wasn’t going to be able to pass high school, Karban’s parents helped him earn a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, Bayamon Campus, with a minor in mathematics. In 2003, he received a Master of Science in mechanical engineering design from University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, with a minor in manufacturing engineering.
He lives in Rockledge, Florida, and is the father of his beautiful daughter Christie and grandfather to his beloved Kelayla. In his spare time, he prefers to do creative things such as drawing in 3-D using computer graphics software, painting on canvas, working on his car and family properties, and SCUBA diving. His interests include saltwater aquariums, sport cars, weight lifting and traveling with his family. He also is a home theater fanatic.