E01 Jordan Evans, Deputy Director for Engineering and Science at NASA JPL

    Welcome to the very first episode of AI in Action, the podcast that explores the applications and implications of data science, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence.

    Our goal is to share with you the insights of technologists and data science enthusiasts to showcase the excellent work that is been done within AI in Ireland.

    On today’s episode, I sit down with Jordan Evans, who is the Deputy Director for Engineering and Science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Los Angeles.

    After finishing his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering, Jordan went to work for Northrop on the B-2 Stealth Bomber but he soon he realised that space exploration was his true calling. He moved to Maryland to work for NASA Goddard in the Advanced Applications Section and worked on the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and on Wide Field Camera – 3 (for the Hubble Space Telescope).

    He then moved to Phoenix, Arizona to become the Chief Engineer/Deputy Program Manager for the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) at Spectrum Astro. While at Spectrum, he met several people from JPL and then moved to the Pasadena area in early 2004 to live the Caltech/JPL culture and work on their exciting missions.

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a unique national research facility that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. JPL helped open the Space Age by developing America’s first Earth-orbiting science satellite, creating the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sending robotic missions to study all the planets in the solar system as well as asteroids, comets and the Earth’s moon. In addition to its missions, JPL developed and manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.

    JPL continues their world-leading innovation today, implementing programs in planetary exploration, Earth science, space-based astronomy and technology development while applying its capabilities to technical and scientific problems of national significance. JPL’s technology developed to enable new missions are now also applied on Earth to benefit our everyday lives.

    I recently got the chance to see Jordan speak at last month’s Dublin Tech Summit and I was delighted to get a few minutes of his time to interview him for the show.

    In this episode, you will learn about:

    • What Jordan’s role as the deputy director for engineering and science with NASA JPL involves
    • Technologies used in space exploration that are now used in everyday life on earth
    • What they discovered on Mars throughout the years
    • How Artificial Intelligence will enhance space exploration technologies
    • Upcoming projects, such as Mars 2020 Rover and the Mars helicopter Leonardo
    • The Mindset required to work in NASA and the importance of feedback

     

     

    What did you enjoy most about Jordan’s podcast? Where do you see the future of AI heading in the near future? I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below.

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