Universities Space Research Association's Chair of the Board of Trustees Elected to the National Academy of Engineering
Columbia, MD and Washington DC—February 28, 2017. James H. Crocker, Chair of the Board of Trustees, Universities Space Research Association (USRA), was elected a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineering “for technical leadership and engineering contributions in astrophysics and planetary exploration.” He is among the 106 new members elected worldwide to the class of 2017.
Membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. The Academy honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/ implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."
"I am thrilled that Jim’s exceptional contributions have been recognized by the National Academy of Engineering," said Jeff Isaacson, President and CEO, Universities Space Research Association. “USRA is proud to have a leader like Jim on our Board of Trustees, and on behalf of the institution, I congratulate him on this election.”.
Crocker will join the newly elected class for a formal induction during a ceremony at NAE’s annual meeting in Washington DC on October 8, 2017.
Crocker served as Vice President and General Manager, Civil Space, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company. In this role he had executive responsibility for critical national space programs relating to human space flight and science missions, including planetary, solar, astrophysical and remote sensing for Government agencies.
He has led some of the world’s most important projects in astronomy and astrophysics. He is known for conceiving the idea and leading the team that developed COSTAR –the solution to the flawed optics of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). He also led the system design effort of the HST Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) which improved the performance of the telescope exponentially. As head of program management for the European Southern Observatory, he played a major role in the design and construction of the largest astronomical observatory in the world, the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Northern Chile, and served as project manager for the construction of Sloan Digital Sky Survey, considered one of the most scientifically important projects in astrophysics.
Founded in 1969, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences, Universities Space Research Association is an independent, nonprofit research corporation which offers an avenue for government and industry to engage the expertise of the academic community together with USRA’s own technical leadership, innovative R&D, operational excellence, management of premier facilities and education programs to advance space- and aeronautics-related sciences and exploration. USRA works across disciplines including biomedicine, planetary science, astrophysics, and engineering and integrates those competencies into applications ranging from fundamental research to facility management and operations to develop and deliver sophisticated, forward-looking solutions to Federal agencies and other government sponsors.