Brief Biographical Data

Dr. Jay Apt

Dr. Jay Apt holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a doctorate from MIT in experimental physics. His research career included atomic physics, lasers, and studying the planets and moons of our solar system. He learned to fly in college, and has flown over 5,000 hours since, in 25 types of aircraft. He has piloted his own airplane to such destinations as Greenland and Guatemala, England and Alaska. He was selected as a NASA Astronaut in 1985, has spent more than 35 days in space on four Space Shuttle missions, and has performed two space walks (one an emergency rescue of a satellite). He has been to the Russian space station Mir, and is the recipient of NASA’s highest medal. Dr. Apt is a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy. His book Orbit: NASA Astronauts Photograph the Earth has sold more than 600,000 copies in 11 languages.

 

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Jay Apt graduated from Harvard in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in physics. He completed his doctoral work in experimental atomic physics at MIT and in 1976 joined the Center for Earth and Planetary Physics at Harvard, studying the weather on Venus. He later directed the observatory at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, and worked in NASA’s mission control center in Houston.

Dr. Apt has spent more than 847 hours in space on four Space Shuttle missions, and performed two space walks. He has been to the Russian space station Mir, and is the recipient of NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.

He is a pilot and aircraft owner with over 5,000 hours of  experience in 25 types of aircraft, sailplanes, and human-powered aircraft. He has flown single-engine aircraft to Greenland, Iceland, Europe, Alaska, and  Central America.

An award-winning photographer, Apt shares his images and knowledge of the Earth in Orbit: NASA Astronauts Photograph the Earth, edited by Roger Ressmeyer and published by the National Geographic Society in 1996. The book has been printed in eleven languages; more than 600,000 copies are in print.

After spending more than 35 days in space, Jay Apt became the Director of Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the six largest research museums in the world, where he led a turnaround of the museum’s research and public programs. A decade-long decline in attendance was reversed, with solid growth. Modern exhibits and first-class scientific research became the hallmarks of the museum. The museum was named "best museum in Pittsburgh" in 1999. After leaving the museum, he became Managing Director and Chief Technology Officer at a venture capital firm.

Dr. Apt is now a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business and in the CMU Department of Engineering and Public Policy. He is the Director of the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center and Director of the RenewElec (renewable electricity) project. He has authored over 90 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as two books and several book chapters. He has published op-ed pieces in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He received the Metcalf Lifetime Achievement Award for sign

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ificant contributions to engineering in 2002.

 

Brief Bio

 

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