Dutch Astronaut To Speak Aug. 28 At Research Colloquium

Aug. 20, 2003

by Judy Long

Former Dutch astronaut Wubbo J. Ockels will deliver the inaugural lecture in the Vice Provost for Research 2003 Fall Colloquium Series from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 28, in the Beckham Room of Baylor University's Bill Daniel Student Center.

The presentation, "Space Perspectives," is jointly hosted by the Baylor Institute for Air Science and Dr. Truell Hyde, vice provost for research. The Vice Provost for Research Colloquium Series aims to bring internationally known innovative researchers from across the disciplines to the Baylor campus.

From Oct. 30 to Nov. 6, 1985, Dr. Ockels flew as a payload specialist on the space shuttle Challenger, the first shuttle with payload duties which were controlled by an astronaut from outside the United States. Later, he served as head of the European Space Agency Office for Education until 2003, when he joined the faculty of Technical University, Delft, Netherlands.

Dr. Ockels, who earned his doctorate in physics and mathematics from the Nuclear Physics Accelerator Institute in Groningen, Netherlands, will begin his appointment as chair of the aerospace engineering department Sept. 1 at Technical University. Dr. Ockels applies his engineering expertise to the invention of sustainable energy devices and is committed to inspiring a new generation to developing imaginative sustainable energy solutions.

Dr. Ockels' research includes real-time software programming and gamma-ray decay of nuclear systems. He also has developed a wind energy apparatus called the laddermill, a kite loop consisting of kites connected to a cable. The wind drives the loop of kites around a gear, powering a generator and producing electricity. He also developed a unique satellite tether.

For more information, contact the Baylor Institute for Air Science at (254) 710-3563.

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