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STA luncheon with Dr. Michael Watkins, Director, NASA JPL

Date: Thursday, June 15, 2017

Location: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2044, Washington, DC, US, 20515

The Space Transportation Association is hosting a luncheon with Dr. Michael Watkins, Director, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab on Thursday, July 13.  Chairman Culberson (R-TX) Chairman HAC, CJS and Congressman Schiff (D-CA) will be providing introductions. 

Please find Dr. Watkin’s bio below.
Topic?                        Dr. Watkins will provide an update on the latest from JPL
When?                        Thursday, July 13, 11:30am – 1:00pm.
Where?                      Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2044
Metro / Parking?       Nearest Metro stop is Capitol South.  There is limited street parking, as well as a parking garage at 1st and D St. SE.
Price?                         No charge, this event is a Widely Attended Gathering.  Details below.
RSVP?                       RSVP by Thursday, June 15.
Attendees?                 Two representatives per company.
Register?                    To register, email Rich Coleman at or
phone Rich at 703-855-3917.  Event is by invitation only.
Look forward to seeing you!
Rich Coleman
Space Transportation Association
Phone: 703-855-3917

More on WAG:  House, Senate, and Executive Branch employees, please contact your Ethics Counselor prior to the event to determine if you are authorized to accept free attendance under WAG rule (5 CFR 2635.204 (g)). If your Ethics Counselor deems you must pay to attend; the fair market value is $20.
Dr. Michael Watkins:
Michael M. Watkins became Director of JPL on July 1, 2016. In this role he also serves as a vice president of the California Institute of Technology, which staffs and manages JPL for NASA.
Watkins, an engineer and scientist, previously was on the staff of JPL for 22 years. In 2015-16 he spent a year at the University of Texas at Austin, where he held the Clare Cockrell Williams Chair in Engineering and was director of the university’s Center for Space Research.

During his JPL career, Watkins served as chief scientist for the Laboratory’s Engineering and Science Directorate, manager of JPL’s Science Division and manager of its Navigation and Mission Design Section. He was mission manager from development through landed operations for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, which sent the Curiosity rover to Mars. He also led NASA development and review teams for the Cassini, Mars Odyssey and Deep Impact robotic space missions.

Watkins served as project scientist for the GRACE, GRAIL and GRACE Follow-On missions. He was an originator of the concept for the GRACE mission, which uses a pair of Earth-orbiting satellites to make detailed measurements of Earth's gravity field anomalies. In addition, he has been a pioneer in the development and use of gravity data for new science applications to better understand Earth’s climate and its evolution. Other research interests include mission design, instrument design and science analysis for acquisition and use of remote sensing data for Earth and other planets.

Watkins holds bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He has published in both engineering and science, contributed more than 100 conference presentations, and serves or served on the boards of numerous international scientific and engineering societies. In addition, he has taught estimation, filtering theory and system engineering at the University of Texas at Austin and at Caltech.

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