Prof. Thomas Zurbuchen is the Associate Dean of Entrepreneurial Programs in the College of Engineering and the Founding Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship. He is a professor of Aerospace Engineering and Space Science at the University Of Michigan. He serves on the boards of three small companies and non-profits. Mostly recently, Zurbuchen was appointed by Michigan’s Governor Snyder to the Northern Michigan University’s Board of Trustees. He has been at the University of Michigan for over 16 years.
Zurbuchen, who holds a PhD in Astrophysics from the University of Bern, Switzerland, received numerous awards, including the prestigious U.S. Presidential Early Career Award, which represents the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers. Zurbuchen, a specialist in the robotic exploration of space, served as team leader for the development of NASA’s Fast Imaging Plasma Spectrometer, an instrument that is part of the MESSENGER spacecraft which will go into orbit about Mercury in 2011. His team is actively involved in the development of a new space instrument, and is responsible for six such instruments currently in flight.
Zurbuchen also has a long record of service as a Chair and Member of committees advising NASA, NSF and the DOL. He served on several committees of the National Research Council, mostly focused on Space Research and Innovation. He has also testified before congress on research topics, on educational issues, and on export control.