UTAlumni CommunityCalendarTwente/4TU Alumni Event @NASA JSC/Houston, 7th September 2023
NASA. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Twente/4TU Alumni Event @NASA JSC/Houston, 7th September 2023

Get ready for an out-of-this-world experience with fellow alumni at an exclusive afternoon tour of NASA’s Johnson Space Center led by TU Delft alumnus and head of the European Space Agency (ESA) Houston Office, Eric van der Wal.

Enjoy a unique 'behind the scenes' three hour visit on Thursday September 7th with stops at the JSC Mission Control, the Astronaut Training Facility and the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, while hearing from Eric about his experiences working with NASA as well as a few other colleagues including also hopefully one or two astronauts linked to his current programs.

Join this special DEAN* event highlighting the impact of 4TU alumni around the world and reach of y(our) network! In addition to exploring the largest organization in the USA of scientists, engineers and technologists making studying our solar system possible we will also have a chance to conclude our visit with an informal ‘borrel’ at one of the traditional local NASA hangouts in the area.

Eric van der Wal studied at TU Delft from 1984 to 1990 and graduated with an MSc (Ir.) in Aerospace Engineering. As a senior liaison officer and head of the ESA Houston Office at the NASA Johnson Space Center he covers various programs, including the International Space Station (ISS) and the new US Crewed Vehicles, Orion, and Gateway. Eric, who joined ESA in 1990, was born in Grenoble, France, and has lived in various European countries prior to moving to the US to serve in his current role. In the last 30 years, he has been involved in operations, programmatic support and liaison activities for human spaceflight.

Participants will have an opportunity during the tour to meet fellow alumni not only from Twente but also TU Delft, TU Eindhoven & Wageningen University. 

Please note that space is limited for this activity to 20 people! This event is free for alumni from the Dutch Technical Universities but for logistical reasons, prior registration is required via this online form (Sign ups are processed by TU Delft Alumni Office)

Participants will meet first at the JSC Rocket Park before boarding a NASA bus that will take us around for the tour. Detailed directions will be provided in the final confirmation message – please see below for a general outline of the program:

Date: Thursday September 7th

Time: 12:45PM – 5:30PM

12:45PM – 1:00PM, Group meet up

1:00PM – 1:10PM, Departure for Building 30 (JSC Mission Control)

1:10PM - 1:40PM, Briefing from the International Space Station (ISS) Flight Control

1:45PM- 2:00PM, Departure for the Sonny Carter Training Facility

2:00PM - 2:45PM, Briefing from the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory

2:50PM - 3:10PM, Departure to Building 9 (Space Vehicle Mockup Facility)

3:10PM – 3:55PM, Briefing from the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility

3:55PM – 4:00PM, Departure back to starting point (Rocket Park)

4:00PM – 4:20PM, Departure to borrel location tbd (individual vehicles)

4:30PM – 5:30PM, Closing Borrel

Alumni from the area who are unable to join this gathering but wish to be notified of our future DEAN activities can submit/update their contact details using the event's registration form. A special DEAN USA Linkedin group also exists to faciliate sharing information and networking between nearly 8000 graduates living in the country - to request to become a member click here.    

>> Additional DEAN events will also be taking place in Washington DC (Sep 12th) & New York (Sep 14th) >>

* ABOUT DEANThe Dutch Engineers Alumni Network (DEAN) is the cooperation of the four universities of technology of the Netherlands in the field of alumni relations, and launched its activities in 2014. Together, they represent over 300,000 alumni all over the world. Today DEAN encompasses over 30 alumni communities in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Nordics, Spain, Switzerland and the USA with activities aimed at connecting local alumni both with each other as well as with students and the universities. Read more: https://www.4tu.nl/en/about_4tu/alumni/

Twente/4TU Alumni Event @NASA JSC/Houston, 7th September 2023