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Avi Loeb Professor Science Harvard
Abraham (Avi) Loeb is the Frank B. Baird, Jr., Professor of Science at Harvard University. He received a PhD in Physics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel at age 24 (1980-1986), led the first international project supported by the Strategic Defense Initiative (1983-1988), and was subsequently a long-term member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton (1988-1993). Loeb has written 8 books, including most recently, Extraterrestrial (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021), and about 800 papers (with an h-index of 113) on a wide range of topics, including black holes, the first stars, the search for extraterrestrial life and the future of the Universe. He had been the longest serving Chair of Harvard's Department of Astronomy (2011-2020), Founding Director of Harvard's Black Hole Initiative (2016-present) and Director of the Institute for Theory and Computation (2007-present) within the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics . He serves as Chair of the Board on Physics and Astronomy of the National Academies (2018-present) and is an elected fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, the American Physical Society, and the International Academy of Astronautics. Loeb is a former member of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) at the White House and a member of the Advisory Board for "Einstein: Visualize the Impossible" of the Hebrew University. He also chairs the Advisory Committee for the Breakthrough Starshot Initiative (2016-present) and serves as the Science Theory Director for all Initiatives of the Breakthrough Prize Foundation. In 2012, TIME magazine selected Loeb as one of the 25 most influential people in space and in 2020 Loeb was selected among the 14 most inspiring Israelis of the last decade.
Vandana Verma - Chief Engineer Robotic Operations NASA/JPL
Vandana Verma is the Chief Engineer for Robotic Operations for Mars 2020 Perseverance, and the Assistant Section Manager for Mobility and Robotics Systems at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She specializes in space robotics, autonomous robots and robotic operations. She has worked on a number of Space Robotics and Artificial Intelligence research and technology development tasks and has designed, developed, and operated rovers on Mars, the Arctic, Antarctica, and the Atacama Desert. She has been working at NASA since graduating with a Ph.D. in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. She works on new space robotics capabilities from early design, through development, testing and launch, to landing and surface operations. As Assistant Section Manager for Mobility and Robotics she helps lead about 150 JPL roboticists developing new technology for future missions and working on a variety of JPL robotic missions. The Mars Ingenuity Helicopter technology is an example of the kind of innovation developed by JPL Robotics.Since 2008 she has been driving rovers on Mars (Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity, and soon Perseverance) and operating the robotic arm and sampling system as a Rover Planner. She enjoys coding and has written flight software that runs onboard Curiosity and Perseverance, and simulation software used in operations. She works on autonomous robotic arm positioning and autonomous science targeting for Perseverance. She is a Helicopter Integration Engineer for the Mars Ingenuity helicopter.heck out my latest episode!
Darsh Kodwani Astrophysicist Episode 16
Darsh is our Star guest and an Astrophysicist, based in Oxford UK. He talks to Indian Genes in this episode giving us a clear understanding of the Big Bang and the latest updates in the field of Astrophysics.He does share a lot of interesting insights and thoughts as well on the amazing universal puzzles that make for great and engaging listening. He has been a true achiever and as he says, hard work is the only way to get there and he has put in a lot of that.Listing this episode would be quite an inspirational journey for students that want to get into this field orj ust non experts who are curious enough to know more.Dash holds a PHD from the University of Oxford in this field and has published several Academic papers on the subject.He has worked with Dr Ulrich Kolb on a robotic telescope based in Mallorca, Spain called PIRATE to collect and analyse astronomical data on exoplanets, was part of a project where Zinc-Bismuth and Aluminum-Indium monotectic alloys were developed in graphite crucibles and their phase transitions were analysed. The project resulted in a poster presentation at the Royal institution in London and a peer review paper in the International Journal of Thermophysics, Taught 6 courses ranging from 1st year introduction to physics to final year graduate courses in advanced quantum mechanics and electromagnetism for the University of Toronto.He also works with the University of Oxford, to understand the early universe and exploring novel mathematical/statistical techniques.Darsh has also been a Team leader in a group of 6 advising the Oxford Climate Action Network on how to establish collaboration between civic organisations in Oxford and the University of Oxford.
Mitul Mehta Neuroimaging Episode 15
Mitul joined King’s College London as a post-doctoral researcher in Neuroimaging in 2003 with the aim of setting up a research group focussed on pharmacological neuroimaging using MRI methodology. He worked with positron emission tomography at Imperial College for a number of years as an MRC Training Fellow before moving to King’s. A Wellcome Trust Value in People Award enabled the transition. His work was recognised by the British Association for Psychopharmacology Young Investigator Award. At King’s my group brought quantitative methods to identify drug mechanisms and classify different compounds and used classic tracking methods (phMRI) to develop assays of drug modulation. These methods are utilised to understand existing compounds as well as assay novel compounds and we have tested various mechanisms, including in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry.Currently, Mitul is Head of the Neuropharmacology Group and Section in the Department of Neuroimaging, Deputy Lead for the Neuroimaging Theme of the NIHR-Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre for Mental Health and Director of the IoPPN Centre for Innovative Therapeutics. Outside of King’s he has served on the Council for the British Association for Psychopharmacology as a member (2011-2014) and meetings
Susmita Mohanty Spaceship Designer Episode 14
Susmita Mohanty is an Indian spaceship designer, serial space entrepreneur and a climate action advocate. She is well known for her research on space related topics. She co-founded India's first private space start-up, Earth2Orbit in 2009.She is the only space entrepreneur in the world to have started companies on three different continents in Asia, Europe and North America.Susmita is one of the few people to have visited both the Arctic and Antarctica .
She completed her bachelor's degree in Electrical engineering from Gujarat University and master's degree in Industrial Design from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. She also completed Masters in Space studies from the International Space University in Strasbourg.
She co-founded Moonfront, an aerospace consulting firm based in San Francisco in 2001, which marked her entry into space entrepreneurship. She also co-founded Liquifer System Group (LSG), an aerospace architecture and design firm in Vienna, Austria in 2004. She also served as one of the prominent members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Aerospace Architecture for over a period of ten years while she was residing in California. In 2005, she was conferred with the International Achievement Award for promoting international cooperation. She was included in the elite list of 25 Indians to Watch by the Financial Times magazine in 2012 and also featured on the front cover page of Fortune magazine in 2017.
She was nominated to the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council for Space Technologies for a period of three consecutive years from 2016 to 2019. She was included in the BBC's list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2019.Reply
Bernardo Kasturp Episode 13
In EP 13, we continue where we left off in EP 12 and Bernardo Kasturp dives deeper into consciousness and how this is central to our understanding of the world around us. He also answers questions posted on line and fascinates us with insights that are thought provoking and brilliant. THis is an episode that would be enjoyed as a continuation of EP 12 and we highly recommend that you listen in sequence.