NASA administrator, astrophysicist to speak at Ann Arbor SPARK annual meeting in May

On Tuesday, May 17, Ann Arbor SPARK will host its annual meeting, and NASA’s Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen wants to attend.

From 10:30 am to 1 pm at the Eastern Michigan University Student Center, the annual meeting is set to be a unique networking opportunity. The event will be attended by businesses, along with government and academic leaders from around the Ann Arbor area.

As in previous years, Ann Arbor SPARK and members of its Board of Directors will highlight the organization’s progress in advancing the region’s economy over the past year. Annual board chair awards will be given and the organization will present its updated strategic plan.

“We are thrilled to return to an in-person annual meeting this year, and acknowledging the resiliency of our local economy with business and community leaders,” said Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO Paul Krutko. “Additionally, we are excited to host a truly dynamic speaker, Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, who has deep roots in our community and whose work now is leading the world in understanding our planet’s origins and life outside of our galaxy.”


Zurbuchen is NASA’s associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate. He helps to answer some of humanity’s biggest questions: Where did we come from? Are we alone? How does the universe work?

Prior to joining the government agency, Zurbuchen was a professor of space science and aerospace engineering at the University of Michigan.

While there, he was also founding director of U-M’s Center for Entrepreneurship at the College of Engineering and developed and ran several campus-wide innovation initiatives, one of which led to the top-ranked undergraduate entrepreneurship program nationally.

Ann Arbor SPARK’s annual meeting is supported by sponsors, including DTE Energy Foundation and Comcast Business.

Registration for the meeting is required and costs $75 per person. For more details or to register, click or tap here.

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