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ISS Lecture

  • September 13, 2019
  • 3:00 PM
  • Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago

2019 Darsh T. Wasan Lecture

by Dr. Ellen Ochoa
Former Director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston

3 p.m. Lecture | Reception to follow

Join us for the 2019 Darsh T. Wasan lecture. Ellen Ochoa, Former Director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and the first Hispanic woman astronaut will deliver this years lecture.

Click here for complete details and registration.

Ellen Ochoa was the director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston from 2013 until her retirement in May 2018. She became the first Hispanic woman to go to space when she served on a nine-day mission aboard the shuttle Discovery in 1993. She has flown in space four times, logging nearly 1,000 hours. She currently serves on several boards, including as vice chair of the National Science Board; as a director/trustee for Service Corporation International, Mutual of America, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; and as chair of the Nomination Evaluation Committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.

Prior to her astronaut career, Ochoa was a research engineer. She holds three patents for optical systems. She received a B.S. in physics from San Diego State University, and both an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University. She is honored to have six schools named for her, and to have been inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, the California Hall of Fame, and the International Air & Space Hall of Fame. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the National Academy of Inventors, and the Optical Society of America. Ochoa was also selected as a 2019 Stanford University Engineering Heroes inductee.

Darsh T. Wasan leads the university’s international initiatives, serving as Illinois Tech’s chief ambassador. Wasan is a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering and the Indian National Academy of Engineering. Since joining the Illinois Tech faculty in 1964, he has made wide- ranging contributions to the university. In 1988 he secured a gift of a five-building campus from CPC International, Inc., and with an initial grant of $3.7 million from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration founded an innovative national center for research and education in food safety and technology (now called the Institute for Food Safety and Health/IFSH). Today, IFSH is a model for cooperation among academe, industry, and government. In 1997 he initiated delivery of cutting-edge master’s programs to India via distance learning programs. He established centers in India, Europe, China, and Korea, forged relationships with universities around the world, and increased international enrollment from 15 percent to 50 percent of Illinois Tech’s total enrollment. In his 55 years at Illinois Tech, he has also held nearly every leadership post, including department chair, interim dean of engineering, vice president for research and technology, provost, and senior vice president for academic affairs.


3 p.m. Lecture

Reception to follow


Illinois Institute of Technology

Hermann Hall, Ballroom

3241 South Federal

Chicago, IL 60616

Campus Map | Driving Directions | Campus Parking


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Register online

Sonia Rivas at 312.567.5030 or

Business attire recommended.

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The Chicago Gifted Community Center (CGCC) is a member-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by parents to support the intellectual and emotional growth of gifted children and their families. 

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