Media are invited to meet Thomas Zurbuchen, recently named the associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, and ask questions in person or via phone during an informal brown bag lunch at noon EDT Monday, Oct. 31. The event will be held at NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street SW, Washington.

To attend or participate via phone, media must contact Dwayne Brown at 202-358-1726 or at by 11 a.m. EDT Monday.

Zurbuchen now leads a portfolio of more than 100 missions exploring Earth, Mars and our solar system and beyond that have rewritten science text books and inspired the public worldwide. Prior to coming to NASA, he was a professor of space science and aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He also is the university’s founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering. Zurbuchen’s experience includes research in solar and heliospheric physics, experimental space research, space systems, and innovation and entrepreneurship.

During his career, Zurbuchen has authored or coauthored more than 200 articles in refereed journals on solar and heliospheric phenomena. He also has been involved with several NASA science missions — Ulysses, MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry and Ranging (MESSENGER), and Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE). He also has been part of two National Academy standing committees, as well as various science and technology definition teams for new NASA missions.

His numerous honors include receiving the National Science and Technology Council Presidential Early Career for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Award in 2004, a NASA Group Achievement Award for the agency’s Ulysses mission in 2006, and the Swiss National Science Foundation’s Young Researcher Award in 1996-1997.

Zurbuchen earned his doctorate in physics and Master of Science degree in physics from the University of Bern in Switzerland.

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