The Wouk Lecture

May 19, 2017
Hameetman Auditorium, Cahill Building map
Reception, 3:30 p.m.
Lecture, 4:00 p.m.

SpaceX's Road to Mars

Overview of the SpaceX technology development and business plans that lead to a human settlement on Mars. Interactive discussion on who wants to go and the challenges. Come with your ideas!

Lawrence Larson

Gwynne Shotwell
President & COO, SpaceX

As President and COO of SpaceX, Gwynne Shotwell is responsible for day-to-day operations and for managing all customer and strategic relations to support company growth. She joined SpaceX in 2002 as Vice President of Business Development and built the Falcon vehicle family manifest to more than 70 launches, representing more than $10 billion in business.

A huge proponent of STEM education, Shotwell has helped raise over $1.4 million for STEM programs reaching thousands of students nationwide.

Shotwell received, with honors, her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northwestern University in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics, and currently serves on the Advisory Council for Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and as a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees. Gwynne is married with two children and when she’s not launching rockets you can find her working on which wine grapes will grow best on her TX ranch.

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The Wouk Lecture is presented by the Division of Engineering & Applied Science.

Past Lectures

The Victor Wouk Lectureship, established by the Wouk family in December 2004 to bring to campus experts on the latest advances in science and technology, is named in honor of Caltech alumnus Victor Wouk, who received his master's and doctorate degrees in electrical engineering from Caltech in 1940 and 1942, respectively. He devoted himself largely to developing hybrid motor vehicles and using semiconductors in electric vehicles. More than three decades ago, he designed and built a high-performance electric vehicle and a high-performance, low-emission, improved-fuel-use hybrid. Throughout his career, he promoted the continuing development of hybrid automobiles powered by both electricity and gasoline, such as the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, and Ford Escape Hybrid. The range of Wouk's activities was wide, and he consulted for several institutions and the government on the problems of energy. A space-travel buff since childhood, he also worked with the team that developed fuel gauges for the "dune buggies" that roamed the surface of the moon during the Apollo program.

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