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FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science
 
Distinguished Lecture Series
Leon Alkalai, Ph.D.
JPL Fellow, Manager, Office of Strategic Planning, Member, International Academy of Astronautics, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
 
Guest Speaker
Mon., April 23
1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Road, EE 303
Boca Raton Campus
Videoconferenced to the Dania Beach, SeaTech site, ST 259, and Harbor Branch, HB 105.
The Future of Robotic Space Exploration
Abstract
Abstract description to go here.
Biography
Leon Alkalai is a JPL Fellow (2014) and is a Full Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (2005). He is currently the Manager of the JPL Office of Strategic Planning, responsible for developing a long-term vision and strategic plan for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Leon Alkalai received his PhD in Computer Science from UCLA in 1989 and has been working at JPL ever since. For the first 14 years of his career Leon was a leader in Advanced Avionics Systems, Micro-Systems, Micro/Nano Spacecraft and related technologies. He led JPL’s Center for Integrated Space Microsystems (CISM) which was developing highly integrated “Systems on A Chip” and pioneering new micro and nano satellites. For the past 13 years, Leon has been in the forefront of JPL’s competed missions’ project formulation as a Manager and a Business Capture Lead. Leon was the successful Capture Lead for both the GRAIL mission to the Moon: awarded in 2007 and launched in 2011; and then the InSight mission to Mars: awarded in 2012 and to be launched in 2018. Both competitions were part of NASA’s Discovery Program in Solar System Exploration. In 2012, Leon received the NASA Individual Distinguished Achievement Medal for the successful formulation of the GRAIL mission to map the gravity field of the Moon. Leon also led JPL’s Discovery proposal (2016) to explore and map the surface of Venus using advanced radar technology. In the past 3 years, Leon has also been leading a new pioneering effort at JPL to formulate the next robotic mission to explore the Interstellar Medium (ISM), following the detection of the solar Heliopause by the Voyager-1 robotic spacecraft (2013). Leon also leads JPL’s Medical Engineering Forum (MEF) a pilot project to apply space technology to medical engineering.

Leon Alkalai is also a successful entrepreneur and a consultant to the commercial technology investment and development industry since 2001. He has consulted for numerous start-up and investment institutions in areas of micro-electronics, strategic planning, technology investment, venture funds, angel funds, seed round investment funds and more. In 2013 Leon co-founded Verrix LLC a medical engineering star-up company in the area of advanced technologies for hospital medical equipment sterilization assurance. He is also the founder of AstroLabs Entreprises, LLC and the GAIA Investment Group, LLC, which performs consulting services to the commercial space industry.
 
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FAUCollege of Engineering & Computer Science
777 Glades Road, EE 308, Boca Raton, FL 33431-0991info@eng.fau.edu
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