NASA Names New Chief Technologist

NASA Names New Chief Technologist

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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced today that the agency has tapped a new Chief Technologist to advise and advocate on matters concerning agency-wide technology policy and programs, including technology transfer. David W. Miller, a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), officially takes the role starting Monday.

“David’s passion for discovery and innovation is a valuable asset as we move forward into exploring new frontiers,” said Bolden. “He has challenged his students to create new ways to operate in space. I expect he will challenge us to do the same. His experience in engineering space systems, small satellites, and long-duration microgravity platforms will allow him to offer the kind of expert advice I have learned to expect from my chief technologists.”

Miller will serve as NASA’s chief technologist through an intergovernmental personnel agreement with MIT, where he is a professor and director of the Space Systems Laboratory.

The Office of the Chief Technologist coordinates and tracks all technology investments across NASA, as well as develops and executes innovative technology partnerships, technology transfers and commercial activities, and the development of collaboration models for the agency. Miller succeeds Mason Peck, who returned to his teaching position at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

Prior to this appointment, Miller held various positions on NASA projects, including principal investigator for the Regolith X-ray Imaging Spectrometer for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission planned for launch in 2016. He was also the principal investigator for the Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) project on the International Space Station. More recently, Miller served as the vice-chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board.

At MIT, Miller’s work focuses on developing ideas for spacecraft that can repair and upgrade satellites with multi-mission functions through space operations and docking using standard interfaces. He also helped develop a technique to control satellite movement, without propellant, using high-temperature, super-conducting electromagnets.

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