University of Michigan Professor Thomas Zurbuchen Named NASA Science Mission Directorate Head

Thomas Zurbuchen

Thomas Zurbuchen, a space science and aerospace engineering professor at the University of Michigan, will officially join NASA on Oct. 3 as associate administrator of the space agency’s science mission directorate.

He will succeed Geoffrey Yoder, who currently leads the science mission directorate on an acting basis and will retire from the space agency in December, NASA said Wednesday

“Thomas brings a wealth of scientific research and engineering experience to the Science Mission Directorate,” said Charles Bolden, NASA administrator.

“His diverse background and hands-on knowledge align well with NASA and our world-class team of scientists and engineers.”

Zurbuchen has authored and co-authored more than 200 articles about solar and heliospheric phenomena and took part in several NASA programs such as the Ulysses and the Advanced Composition Explorer missions.

He is also the founding director of the University of Michigan’s center for entrepreneurship and has served on two National Academy standing committees.

He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Bern.

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