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Biography: Dr. Martin C. Weisskopf
Steve Roy
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
(Phone: 256.544.0034)

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Dr. Martin C. Weisskopf is project scientist for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Chief Scientist for X-ray Astronomy in the Space Sciences Department at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, the world's most powerful X-ray telescope, helps scientists understand the structure and evolution of the universe.

In 1964, he received his bachelor's degree with honors in physics from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and in 1969 received his doctorate in physics from Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass.

Weisskopf began his post-graduate career at Columbia University in 1969, where he became an assistant professor and performed many pioneering experiments in X-ray astronomy. In 1977, Weisskopf left Columbia to become senior X-ray astronomer at Marshall Center and Chandra X-ray Observatory project scientist.

Weisskopf has held numerous special appointments during his career. He is a senior co-investigator of the European Space Agency's international X-ray imaging experiment, called IBIS, and the originator of a major experimental research program that began in 1978 that currently concentrates on the development of X-ray optics.

He has served on numerous committees, including the National Academy of Science's Panel on High-Energy Astrophysics from Space, Astronomy and Astrophysics Survey Committee. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society and its High-Energy Astrophysics Division; the American Association for the Advancement of Science; the International Astronomical Union; Sigma Xi, a scientific research society; Phi Beta Kappa, the National Honor Society and a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Astrophysics Division.

Weisskopf is the recipient of numerous awards, including NASA Medals for Exceptional Service in 1992 and for Scientific Achievement in 1999. He was elected in 1994 as a Fellow of the American Physical Society, which cited his "pioneering work in X-ray polarimetry and time variability studies of cosmic X-ray sources, and his insightful leadership as Project Scientist for the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility." In 2001, he was selected as a fellow in the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE) for his significant scientific and technical contributions to the optics community and SPIE. In 2004, together with Dr. H. Tananbaum he received the Rossi Prize of the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the American Astronomical Society which cited "their vision, dedication, and leadership in the development, testing, and operation of the Chandra X-ray Observatory". In 2006, Dr. Weisskopf was honored with the George W. Goddard Award of the SPIE, citing his "exceptional achievements and contributions to the Chandra Observatory."

He is author or co-author of 236 publications including refereed journal articles, articles in books, monographs and papers in conference proceedings.

April 25, 2006