GIFTS satellite
GIFTS satellite. Credit: UW-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center

Scott Jensen is leaving Utah State University after 21 years to become executive vice president of science and technology at Tempus Global Data. Tempus Global Data is a venture capital firm based in Ogden, Utah.

Jensen has spent much of his time at the university working on the Geosynchronous Imaging Fourier Transform Spectrometer (GIFTS) sensor, which was developed for a NASA satellite that never flew. When funding was not renewed, Utah State University continued the work with help from private company GeoMetWatch and then Tempus Global Data under the name the Sounding & Tracking Observatory for Regional Meteorology (STORM) sensor.

Jensen’s last position was as the director of Advanced Weather Systems, a nonprofit subsidiary of the university.

During his time at Utah State University, he also served as director of the Civil Space Division and director of internal research and development at the Space Dynamics Lab.

“Tempus has worked with Scott Jensen for many months during the long, arduous process of acquiring a university technology and preparing it for deployment as a private, commercial enterprise that will sell data to both the private and public sectors,” Tempus Chairman and Chief Executive Alan Hall said in a statement. “He has been brilliant and his expertise has been invaluable.”

Weber State University President Charles Wight
Weber State University President Charles Wight. Credit: Weber State University

Meanwhile, Charles Wight, president of Ogden-based Weber State University, has joined the advisory council for Tempus.

Before becoming president of Weber in 2013, Wight was a professor of chemistry at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He had held that position since 1993. His research interests include physical chemistry, explosives and propellants, the kinetics of solid-state reactions and thermal analysis, and reaction dynamics in cryogenic solids.

“I have examined the technology and look forward to offering advice and input to the distinguished team of scientists and technologists who are working to improving weather forecasts and advanced warning for people around the world who are in harm’s way,” Wight said in a statement.