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Astronaut Christopher Ferguson Named Drexel’s 2009 Engineer of the Year

Astronaut Christopher Ferguson Named Drexel’s 2009 Engineer of the Year

Philadelphia, February 11, 2009

Christopher Ferguson, commander of NASA’s STS-126 Endeavour, STS-115 Atlantis and a distinguished Drexel alumnus of mechanical engineering (’84) will be honored as Drexel University College of Engineering’s 2009 Engineer of the Year. “We are excited Mr. Ferguson has accepted Drexel’s nomination for the 2009 Engineer of the Year. Mr. Ferguson has shown tremendous leadership in leading both missions and he continues to be a role model for our students as well as an accomplished alumnus,” said Dr. Selcuk Güceri, dean of the College of Engineering. A Philadelphia native, Ferguson holds a bachelor’s of science in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and a master’s in aeronautical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School (‘91). Ferguson is a veteran of two space flights and he has logged over 28 days in space. He was the pilot of STS-115 Atlantis in 2006. In 2008, as the commander of space shuttle Endeavour STS-126, Ferguson worked with his six-person crew on a 15-day space mission to install a system that recycles urine into drinking water. In addition, Ferguson and his crew delivered equipment to the International Space Station. Equipment included crew quarters, additional exercise gear, materials for the regenerative life support system and spare hardware that will enable larger crews to reside aboard the complex for long-duration missions. Ferguson piloted the space shuttle Endeavour to a perfect landing on November 30, 2008. In honor of Ferguson’s contributions to engineering, he will be recognized at a ceremony on February 20 at the Rittenhouse Hotel that will conclude Drexel’s observance of National Engineers Week. Past Drexel Engineer of the Year recipients include Dr. Bernard Amadei, founding president of Engineers Without Borders-USA and co-founder of Engineers Without Borders-International, Dean Kamen, president of DEKA Research and Development Corp. and founder of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology); Dr. Robert Koerner, Drexel emeritus professor and former H.L. Bowman Professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and Director of Geosynthetic Research Institute; and Dr. Mark Adler, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Mars Exploration Program architect and Rover Mission manager. For more information about Drexel’s 2009 Engineers Week, please visit www.drexel.edu/coe/eweek2009/schedule.htm. For more information on Mr. Ferguson and NASA, please visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts126/index.html. About Drexel University’s College of Engineering Since its founding in 1891, Drexel University’s College of Engineering has emphasized its strengths in engineering, science and technology to train students to become the leaders of the future. The College has the largest undergraduate private engineering program among the nation’s private universities and is Drexel’s flagship school with more than 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students specializing in experiential and global education. For more information on Drexel University’s College of Engineering, please visit www.drexel.edu/coe. News Media Contact: Noah Cohen, News Media Bureau Associate, Drexel News Bureau 215-895-2705, 267-228-5599 (cell) or noah.cohen@drexel.edu Elizabeth Brachelli, Public Relations Coordinator, College of Engineering 215- 895-6454 or ebrachelli@coe.drexel.edu