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>  News Releases >   2007 >   August

Dartmouth and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory establish partnership

Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
Posted 08/21/07 • Sue Knapp • (603) 646-3661

On Friday, Aug. 17, officials from Dartmouth and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) signed a memorandum of understanding that promotes and encourages a two-way exchange of expertise and opportunities between the two organizations. JPL is a federally funded research and development center of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and it is managed for the government by the California Institute of Technology.

Dartmouth and JPL
Seated: JPL Director Charles Elachi (left) and Dartmouth Provost Barry Scherr; Standing, left to right: JPL Program Manager Mike Devirian; Brian Chaboyer, associate professor of physics & astronomy; Daniel McCleese, chief scientist at JPL; Vice Provost for Research Martin Wybourne (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

Of the new arrangement, Dartmouth Provost Barry Scherr said, "Dartmouth is pleased to be one of 10 institutions selected by JPL for their research partnership program. This will certainly be a mutually beneficial initiative. It will bring opportunities to our students and faculty, and it will offer JPL scientists the chance to come to Hanover and share their experiences."

The agreement, which continues through June 2010, encourages the exchange of personnel between JPL and Dartmouth for seminars and workshops, and it enables Dartmouth undergraduate and graduate students to participate in JPL research. Dartmouth and JPL researchers will also have the ability to jointly submit proposals for projects of mutual or complementary interest.

"Developing a strategic partnership with one of the country's leading laboratories is exciting," said Martin Wybourne, the vice provost for research. "The partnership will enable Dartmouth students and faculty to work with JPL scientists, particularly in the areas of physics, nano materials, engineering, astronomy, robotics, and remote sensing. It will also open the possibility for Dartmouth personnel to participate on NASA/JPL advisory boards."

One project already benefiting from the agreement is Professor Brian Chaboyer's work on the NASA/JPL program called SIM PlanetQuest, a mission currently in development to measure more accurately the distances to stars throughout the galaxy and to search nearby stars for Earthlike planets.

"Working with JPL will be valuable for the Dartmouth community," says Chaboyer, an associate professor of physics and astronomy. "I envision numerous projects developing as we build relationships and establish our connections. SIM PlanetQuest is just the beginning."

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