H. Jay Melosh - (Chair)
H. JAY MELOSH (NAS) is a Distinguished Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Physics, and Aerospace Engineering at Purdue University. Dr. Melosh’s previous positions include professor of planetary sciences at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, University of Arizona, associate professor of planetary science at California Institute of Technology, and associate professor of geophysics at State University of New York. He has made many important contributions to Earth and planetary sciences, including definitive studies of the collisional origin of the Moon and the process of impact cratering. His other major contributions include acoustic fluidization, dynamic topography, and planetary tectonics. He is active in astrobiological studies relating chiefly to microorganism exchange between the terrestrial planets. Dr. Melosh is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He received his A.B. in physics from Princeton University and his Ph.D. in physics and geology from Caltech. Dr. Melosh has previously served on the Committee on NASA Technology Roadmaps, the Committee to Review Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies, and the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration.
ALAN HARRIS is a senior scientist, retired, at the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) Institute of Planetary Research in Berlin, and holds an honorary chair at Queen’s University Belfast, UK. He leads research projects in solar system science, including observations and modelling of the physical properties of asteroids, and has pioneered radiometric data-analysis techniques applicable to the study of small asteroids. Derivatives of his Near-Earth Asteroid Thermal Model (NEATM) have been incorporated into data processing pipelines used by NASA’s NEOWISE project, and researchers using NASA’s WISE and Spitzer space telescopes and other facilities. Dr. Harris received a B.S. and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Leeds, UK. He has not previously served on an Academies’ committee.
BHAVYA LAL is a research staff member at the IDA Science and Technology Policy Institute. Her research and analysis focuses on space technology and policy and is frequently incorporated in national policy documents. Recent and ongoing projects include supporting the Office of Science and Technology Policy and other Federal agencies in developing a national space technology strategy, improving detection of near Earth objects, evaluating a civilian space situational awareness capability, documenting global trends in space, and examining recent commercial activities in space including their legal ramifications related to the Outer Space Treaty. Before joining STPI, Dr. Lal was president of C-STPS, LLC, a science and technology policy research and consulting firm in Waltham, Massachusetts. Prior to that, she was a researcher and the director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Studies at Abt Associates, Inc., in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Dr. Lal holds a B.S. and M.S. in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an M.S. from MIT’s Technology and Policy Program, and a Ph.D. for public policy and public administration at George Washington University. She has served on the Academies’ Committee on Space Radiation Effects Testing Infrastructure for the U.S. Space Program, the Committee on Achieving Science Goals with CubeSats, and the Committee on Space-Based Additive Manufacturing of Space Hardware.
LUCY MCFADDEN is retired from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where her research focused on the study of small bodies in the solar system, primarily asteroids and comets. She began her career at MIT where she learned the fundamentals of the interaction of light with solid surfaces, continued and completed her graduate work at U. Hawaii using the available telescopes of Mauna Kea Observatory to conduct an early survey of the reflectance of near-Earth asteroids to determine their mineralogy and origin. As a post-doc she participated in the International Halley watch using the International Ultraviolet Explorer telescope. Her research career continued as science team member and co-investigator of the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, Deep Impact, EPOXI missions; and continues today as co-investigator for NASA’s Dawn mission with a spacecraft orbiting the dwarf planet Ceres. Most recently, she led the search for moons around the Dawn mission’s targets, Vesta, and Ceres. This process has similarities to searching for near-Earth objects. She was editor of The Encyclopedia of the Solar System, 1st and 2nd editions, and has served in an elected leadership position for the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences. She has previously served on the Academies’ Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration and the Committee on Data Management and Computation.
MICHAEL MOMMERT is an assistant astronomer at Lowell Observatory. He specializes in the physical characterization of asteroids and comets, mainly using thermal-infrared observations. He is the data analysis lead of a number of Spitzer Space Telescope observing programs characterizing the physical properties (diameters and albedos) of near-earth objects. He also has an interest in the investigation of objects in the asteroid-comet continuum, data mining from archival data, the application of data science methods to scientific problems, and the development of open-source scientific software. He received his Ph.D. in geosciences from Free University in Berlin and his M.SC. in physics from the University of Heidelberg. He has not previously volunteered on a National Academies committee.