2024 Investiture Information

All Thayer News

NASA's First Female Engineer Deputy Administrator Dava Newman to Deliver 2022 Investiture Address

May 03, 2022

Dava Newman, professor of astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Harvard-MIT Health, Sciences, and Technology faculty member will deliver the keynote address at Thayer School of Engineering's Investiture ceremony and has been named this year's recipient of the Robert Fletcher Award, Dartmouth Engineering's highest honor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as NASA deputy administrator — the first female engineer in this role — and was awarded the NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

Dava Newman
Dava Newman

Named for the founding director and the first professor of engineering at Thayer, the Fletcher Award is given annually in recognition of distinguished scientific achievement and service in the highest tradition of Dartmouth Engineering.

Newman will also receive an honorary degree from Dartmouth at its 2022 Commencement, held the day after Thayer's Investiture on June 11.

Her research and teaching expertise include aerospace biomedical engineering, astronaut performance, advanced space suit design, leadership development, innovation, and space policy. Newman was the principal investigator on four spaceflight missions flown aboard the Space Shuttle, Russian Mir Space Station, and the International Space Station. Best known for her second skin BioSuit planetary EVA system, her advanced spacesuit inventions are now being applied to "soft wearable suits" to study and enhance locomotion on Earth.

Newman is the co-founder of the nonprofit EarthDNA that focuses on accelerating climate understanding and taking positive actions for spaceship Earth's ocean, land, and air subsystems, developing an artificial intelligence/machine learning open-source platform, producing 'satellite imagery of the future' for Earth's vital signs, and training future climate leaders with an ambition to make the world work for 100% of humanity.

For contacts and other media information visit our Media Resources page.