Updated 9/19/05


Brief Biography of Dr. S. M. Krimigis


STAMATIOS M. "TOM" KRIMIGIS has been Head of the Space Department (01/1991-04/2004) of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL), and Emeritus Head since then. In this position, he directed the activities of about 600 scientists, engineers, and other technical and supporting staff. The Space Department's principal areas of work include the design, construction, test, and launch into space of entire satellites, and of scientific instruments that perform measurements on a large variety of earth-orbiting and interplanetary missions. The Department conducts forefront research in all areas of space science, ranging from the Earth's oceans and atmosphere to the sun, the interplanetary medium, the planets, comets, asteroids and other objects. The Department has combined excellence in space engineering together with in-depth science capability in designing and executing some 61-satellite missions and well over 175 instruments since 1959 with sponsorship by NASA and other government agencies. Dr. Krimigis was educated at the University of Minnesota (B. Phys., 1961) and the University of Iowa (M.S., 1963; Ph.D., 1965, both in physics). He served on the faculty of the Physics and Astronomy Dept. at Iowa before joining APL in 1968. He headed the Space Physics and Instrumentation Group, became Chief Scientist in 1980, and Head of the Space Department in 1991. He is now Head Emeritus and has resumed his science work full-time.

            Dr. Krimigis' research interests include the earth's environment, its magnetosphere, the sun, the interplanetary medium, and the magnetospheres of the planets and other astrophysical objects. He has been Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on several NASA spacecraft, including the Low Energy Charged Particle (LECP) Experiment on Voyagers 1 and 2, and the Active Magnetospheric Particle Tracer Explores (AMPTE), a collaborative U.S.-German-U.K. program that created the first man-made comet in space on December 27, 1984. Together with five other scientists, he was invited to the White House for lunch to brief President Reagan on both of these projects on March 26, 1986. He was one of the Group of American intellectuals from World of Arts, Sciences, and Politics invited to meet with President Gorbachev during his first visit to Washington, D.C. in December 1987. He also participated in a briefing of President Bush in the Oval Office on July 7, 1990, following the successful Voyager encounter with Neptune. He is currently a Principal Investigator for the 1997 Cassini mission to Saturn and Titan, and a Co-Investigator on the Galileo, Ulysses, ACE and MESSENGER missions. He spearheaded the establishment of NASA's Discovery program for low-cost planetary missions. The first such mission was developed at APL, launched in 1996, orbited asteroid Eros for a year, and landed on February 12, 2001. The NEAR team has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Smithsonian Trophy for Achievement in 2002.  Together with two other colleagues, he was recognized for "Laurels" in Space for the NEAR achievement by the Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine in 1997, and again in 2001.  He was also recognized in 2001 with “Laurels” for his role in resurrecting the mission to Pluto. Dr. Krimigis has built instruments that have flown to seven of the nine planets, the only scientist to do so, and is now working on missions to Mercury and Pluto to complete the set. In 2003 his instrument on Voyager 1 identified the approach of the solar system boundary at ~85 AU, the first spacecraft to ever do so.

            Dr. Krimigis has published more than 380 papers in journals and books; has been awarded the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1981 and again in 1986, some thirty NASA Group Achievement Awards for Voyager, AMPTE, Galileo, Ulysses, Cassini, and ACE, has been a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Space Science Board, Chairman of the Board's Committee on Solar and Space Physics, a member of NASA's Space Science and Applications Advisory Committee, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Trustee of the International Academy of Astronautics, and a recently (11/2004) elected member of the Academy of Athens to the Chair of Science of Space. He received the International Academy of Astronautics Basic Sciences Award and the AHEPA Academy Prize, both in 1994. At the World Space Congress (2002) he was presented with the COSPAR Space Science Award, the highest honor that the worldwide space science community can bestow. In November 2004, he was presented with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Chian Federation of New York Homeric Award. He has participated as member or Chairman in many national and international conferences in space science and space systems management, has delivered more than 1,100 talks on these topics, and has lectured in major conferences and National Academies in all five continents. The International Astronomical Union in 1999 named asteroid "8323 Krimigis", (previously 1979 UH) in his honor. The President of the Hellenic Republic has awarded him the Gold Cross "Commandeur de l' Ordre  du Phoénix" in 1997. Also, the American Hellenic Institute has honored Dr. Krimigis with its "Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award" in Washington in 1998. Dr. Krimigis has often testified before Congressional Committees on issues of Space Science and Technology and has been a member or Chairman of many advisory committees for the U.S. Government. He is often quoted in national and international media on space science and technology issues, most recently on the Voyager crossing of the heliospheric Termination Shock and the Cassini orbiter of Saturn. His work on Voyager has been featured as front-page news in the New York Times three times, as well as many other newspapers and magazines throughout the world. He is listed in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in Frontiers of Science and Technology, Who's Who in Technology Today, Personalities of America, American Men and Women of Science, Men of Achievement, International Who's Who of Contemporary Achievement, and Dictionary of International Biography.                            


A complete vitae is also available in PDF.


Email: tom.krimigis@jhuapl.edu