Dr. Hans Mark

Dr. Hans Mark

Quick Facts on Dr. Hans Mark

  • Born in Mannheim, Germany, on June 17, 1929; moves to the United States in 1940 and becomes an American citizen in 1945
  • Earns a bachelor's degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1951 and his Ph.D. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954
  • Holds various research and teaching positions at MIT and UC Berkeley until he becomes the director of NASA's Ames Research Center in 1969; helps develop nuclear reactors for submarines and tilt-rotor helicopters that can take off like airplanes
  • Becomes the secretary of the U.S. Air Force in 1979, and the director of the National Reconnaissance Office, where he is responsible for managing the nation's satellite reconnaissance program
  • Earns the title of deputy administrator of NASA in 1981; supervises the first 13 space shuttle missions and the nascent stages of the International Space Station program
  • Writes or edits more than eight books, including “The Space Station: A Personal Journey” (Duke University Press, 1987)
  • Leaves NASA in 1984 to become the chancellor of The University of Texas System; in 1988 joins the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin, where he teaches aerospace engineering
  • Takes his expertise to the Pentagon when he is nominated as director of Defense Research and Engineering; responsible for developing policies, providing guidance, and managing atomic energy, chemical, and biological defense plans and programs
  • Returns in 2001 to UT Austin, where he holds the John J. McKetta Centennial Energy Chair in Engineering as a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
  • Receives the U.S. Navy's Distinguished Public Service Award for more than 50 years of research with military relevance, the highest civilian honor, in July 2007