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Director of Naval Center for Space Technology to speak April 6 at NMSU

Peter G. Wilhelm, director of the Naval Center for Space Technology (NCST) of the Naval Research Laboratory, will speak as part of New Mexico State University's General Dynamics Distinguished Speaker Program.

Peter G. Wilhelm, director of the Naval Center for Space Technology of the Naval Research Laboratory, will be this year's speaker at the New Mexico State University General Dynamics Distinguished Speaker Program. (Courtesy photo)

The event will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 6, in Room 104 of the Thomas and Brown Building on the NMSU campus. It is free and open to the public.

The title of his speech is "Space: A 45-year Perspective and the Outlook for the Future."

As the NCST director, Wilhelm heads up the only Defense Department facility that has its own in-house capability to design, fabricate and fully qualify spacecraft. He has been the NCST director for about 18 years.

The native of New York has been involved with the Naval Research Laboratory since he first joined the Satellite Techniques Branch in 1959. He has served as the head of the Satellite Instrument Section, the head of the Satellite Techniques Branch and the head of the Spacecraft Technology Center. In these positions, Wilhelm preformed satellite system design, equipment development, environmental testing, launch operations and orbital data handling. In 1981, he was named superintendent of the Space Systems and Technology Division, the Navy's lead laboratory for space. He is credited with contributions in design, development and operation of 82 scientific and fleet-support satellites and has been awarded five patents.

Wilhelm has received many awards including the Navy's Meritorious Civilian Service Award; the Distinguished Civilian Service Award; the Presidential Meritorious Executive Award; the Captain Robert Dexter Conrad Award, the Navy's highest award for outstanding technical and scientific achievement; the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Aerospace and Electronic Systems Group Man of the Year Award for 1981; and most recently, the Naval Research Laboratory Award for Engineering Excellence called The Roger L. Easton Award. He has been elected as a Fellow of the Washington Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Wilhelm received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University and has completed all course work for a master's in engineering from George Washington University.

The General Dynamics Distinguished Speaker Program, under the NMSU Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, is designed to increase NMSU's participation in government and civil space programs and to let engineering students learn of opportunities in the field of space systems engineering.

For more information, contact Gary Geyer, an adjunct instructor at the engineering college, at (505) 526-4343.