Aerospace scientist, alumnus Michael Harrison to speak at Blinn

Nov. 25 presentation will be 'Day in the Life of a Rocket Scientist'

November 18, 2019

Michael HarrisonAerospace scientist and Blinn College District alumnus Michael Harrison will describe a day in the life of a rocket scientist Monday, Nov. 25, during a presentation at 6:30 p.m. in the Janis Sneed Banquet Room in the Blinn-Brenham Campus Student Center.

“This presentation reviews my experiences on NASA's Aura program when I was asked to replace an engineer who retired unexpectedly only a few months prior to launch,” Harrison said.

“From assembly and testing of the spacecraft in Redondo Beach, California, to stacking it on the rocket at Vandenberg Air Force Base, to launch and on-orbit operation of the spacecraft from Goddard Space Flight Center in sunny Greenbelt, Maryland. Each task was a new challenge requiring flexibility and new learning.”

The program is being hosted by the divisions of Business and Mathematics; Engineering, Computer Technology, and Innovation; and Natural and Physical Sciences. It is free and open to the public.

Harrison, a Brenham native, attended Blinn from 1975-76 and earned his bachelor’s degree in theoretical physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). After graduating from MIT, he began working at TRW Space Technology in Redondo Beach, Calif.

During his aerospace science career, he has worked primarily in the design of data acquisition and satellite guidance systems.

Harrison said he has made an effort to speak to clubs and civic organizations for more than 30 years “to demystify the space programs and scientific announcements.”

“Since that time, I have presented on a wide range of subjects relating to space technology,” he said.

Those have included the “big bang theory,” dark matter, relativity and quantum mechanics.

“I use real world examples and analogies that allow people to understand the broad strokes of these theories and shed light into science and technology,” Harrison said. “Nothing is more satisfying to me than when people come up after a speech to share the fact that they desperately wanted to understand these ideas and my approach allowed them to capture the concepts for the first time.”

For more information, contact Ashley Hermes, Engineering Programs Director for the Blinn College District, at









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