Karen Nesbitt, 334/844-3591
ASTRONAUT, AU ALUMNUS JIM VOSS JOINS ENGINEERING TEAM
AUBURN -- Astronaut Jim Voss, a veteran of five space flights, has been named associate dean for external affairs in Auburn University's Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.
Larry Benefield, dean of the Ginn College of Engineering, said Voss will begin his duties on campus in August, at the beginning of the fall semester. He will lead the college's fund-raising efforts and teach a course in spacecraft design.
"Jim Voss has been a frequent and welcomed visitor to the Auburn campus during his tenure at NASA, and has spoken with many of our students, alumni and faculty members," said Benefield. "He will bring a unique perspective to the engineering classroom. As a veteran astronaut, he offers an exciting viewpoint that will elevate our instructional program in a way that would not otherwise be possible.
"At the same time, we are thrilled that he will be joining us as we position the Ginn College of Engineering to seek out new levels of teaching, research and outreach. As one of our most distinguished graduates, we look to his ability to share Auburn's story with a wide variety of audiences, and continue the role that he has always played as an ambassador of Auburn University."
A retired Army colonel, Voss was born in Cordova, Ala., but considers Opelika his hometown since he graduated from Opelika High School. He received a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from Auburn in 1972, where he was a member of the university's varsity wrestling team.
Voss was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army and earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1974, under the Army Graduate Fellowship Program.
He completed Army Airborne and Ranger schools and served with the 2nd Battalion 48th Infantry in Germany as a platoon leader, intelligence staff officer and company commander. He also finished the Infantry Officer Advanced Course and taught for three years in the Department of Mechanics at the U.S. Military Academy.
After completing the Naval Test Pilot School and the Armed Forces Staff College, Voss was assigned to the Army Aviation Engineering Flight Activity as a flight test engineer and research and development coordinator. He was involved in several major flight test projects before being assigned to NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in 1984.
As a vehicle integration test engineer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Voss supported shuttle and payload testing at the Kennedy Space Center for shuttle flights. Selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1987, he completed a one-year training and evaluation program that qualified him for assignment as a mission specialist on shuttle flights.
Voss has worked as a flight crew representative in the area of shuttle safety; a spacecraft communicator providing a communications interface between ground controllers and flight crews during simulations and shuttle flights; and an astronaut office training officer.
He was the back-up crew member for two missions to the Russian space station Mir, during which time he lived and trained for two years at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. During 2001 he lived and worked aboard the International Space Station as a member of the Expedition 2 crew.
Voss has logged 201 days in space, including four space walks totaling 22 hours and 35 minutes of extravehicular time. Most recently he was a management astronaut working in the Space Station Program Mission Integration and Operations Office as a deputy for flight operations.
"Jim has served as an integral part of the astronaut and human space flight program for more than 18 years," NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe said of Voss. "His contributions to human space flight are numerous, but even more important, his professionalism and demeanor have served as positive examples for the astronaut corps. His efforts have helped make the International Space Station a success. He will be a valuable and wonderful addition to the Auburn University faculty. Jim will serve as a true inspiration for the next generation of explorers and scientists."