2017 SciTech Forum and Exposition

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Photo credit: AIAA

As part of the SciTech Forum and Exposition, I had the privilege to present a lecture that memorializes William Durand, a pioneer in the field of aeronautics and the first civilian chair of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

— the forerunner of NASA. Thanks to the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics for this
invitation and the honor of receiving the Durand medal.

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Photo credit: NSF

The theme for this year’s forum – “Full Spectrum Disruptions across the Aerospace Community” – is well-timed, given NSF’s recent focus on innovation and disruption. We have been working on “Big Ideas”

that can help define cutting-edge research agendas well-suited to our broad portfolio of investments. One of these ideas is the “New Windows on the Universe,” which will allows scientists to explore the mysteries of
space and space-time by combining the diverse observational
technologies. Our
agency is uniquely positioned to do this with ground-based observatories, such as ALMA which observes at millimeter wavelengths, Ice-Cube at our South Pole
Antarctica Station, which detects neutrinos, and our LIGO facilities in
Washington and Louisiana which detect gravitational waves.

I believe the best research
ideas come from the scientific and engineering community. I was thrilled to be
part of this forum, where the commitment to basic research and innovation was
as strong as ever.