By M. Abraham
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne President Jim Maser will deliver the 2007 commencement address for the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science on Saturday, June 16. The ceremony will begin at 12:30 p.m. in Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA Campus.
Maser was appointed president of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne in December. The company, based in Canoga Park, California, powers the Space Shuttle, supplies booster engines for Delta II rockets and boosters and upper stage engines for Atlas III and V and Delta IV rockets. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a business unit of United Technologies Corporation.
“Throughout his career, Jim has demonstrated engineering leadership at the highest levels,” said Dean Vijay K. Dhir. “We are delighted and honored to have Jim as our 2007 UCLA Engineering commencement speaker.”
Maser has extensive experience in the spaceflight business. Prior to his appointment as president of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, Maser was the president and chief operating officer of SpaceX, a startup company that aims to decrease the cost and increase the access and reliability to space.
Prior to that, Maser spent 18 years with the Boeing Company. His last position was as the president and general manager of Sea Launch, LLC, an international partnership led by Boeing. Maser also served as Sea Launch’s chief systems engineer and was the chief engineer on the Delta program, where he worked extensively with Rocketdyne.
Maser graduated magna cum laude from the University of Akron (Ohio) with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, followed by a Master’s degree in Engineering. He later received a Master’s degree in Business Administration from UCLA.
In 2000, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) honored Maser with the George M. Low Space Transportation Award for his contributions to space transportation. The award is named in memory of the former president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and NASA deputy administrator who played leading role in planning and executing all of the Apollo missions, and who originated the plans for the first manned lunar orbital flight – Apollo 8.
UCLA Engineering expects to award approximately 1,000 degrees this year. More than 5,600 guests are expected to attend the school’s commencement related activities.