PULLMAN, Wash. – An inside view of NASA, its history and the future of America’s space program will be discussed by Michael Griffin, former head administrator of NASA, in a town hall style meeting 9:45-11 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, in EME 52.
 
Seating for the informal question and answer time is limited, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early.
 
Griffin also will speak at 4 p.m. Monday, April 18, at the University of Idaho Administration Auditorium. His talk “The Once and Future Space Program,” is part of the UI’s Martin Forum series. It is sponsored by the Martin Institute and the Microelectronic Research and Communications Institute.
 
Both events are free to the public.
 
Griffin served as NASA administrator April 2005-January 2009. With training as a physicist and aerospace engineer, he oversaw such areas as the future of human space flight, the fate of the Hubble telescope and NASA’s role in understanding climate change.
 
After leaving NASA, he was named eminent scholar and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama, Huntsville. He established the Center for System Studies at the university, which addresses the need for “systems thinking” in industry and the government.
 
System studies involve research to understand the many complex ways that technology, nature, people and society interact so that the workings of an engineered solution are more predictable and more desirable.
 
Before his appointment as NASA Administrator, Griffin was president-elect of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He is a member of the American Astronautical Society and International Academy of Astronautics. In a 2010 Space Foundation survey, he was ranked as the seventh most popular space hero.
 
He is member of the National Academy of Engineering and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
 
He is the recipient of many awards, including the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the AIAA Space Systems Medal and Goddard Astronautics Award, and the U.S. Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award conferred on a non-government employee. He is the 2009 recipient of the National Space Club’s Goddard Trophy and the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement.
Griffin holds seven degrees: B.S in physics, Johns Hopkins University; M.S. in aerospace science, Catholic University of America; Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, University of Maryland, College Park; M.Eng. in electrical engineering, USC; M.S. in applied physics, Johns Hopkins University; MBA, Loyola College; and M.Eng. in civil engineering, George Washington University. He was pursuing an M.S. in computer science at Johns Hopkins when he was appointed NASA chief.