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Ved Chirayath

Professor Ved Chirayath is the Vetlesen Chair of Earth Sciences, a National Geographic Explorer, and the inaugural director of the Aircraft Center for Earth Studies (ACES) at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School. Chirayath’s research focuses on inventing, developing, and testing next-generation sensing technologies for studying the natural world. Ultimately, his aim is to extend our capabilities for studying and protecting life on Earth as well as to aid in the search for life elsewhere in the universe.

Dr. Chirayath grew up in California with a passion for NASA’s mission and space exploration. In 2003, a sophomore in high school, he modified a consumer digital camera and telescope to successfully detect an extra-solar planet, 150 light years away, 1.5x the size of Jupiter. Since then, his research interests have relied on the intersection of multiple disciplines including aeronautics, astrophysics, earth sciences, engineering, and optics. Formerly, Chirayath directed the NASA Laboratory for Advanced Sensing (LAS) in Silicon Valley, CA for ten years.

Recently, Chirayath was one of 30 finalists of 12,000 applicants for the NASA Astronaut Candidate Class of 2021 and received several NASA honor awards, the NASA Equal Employment Opportunity Medal, and NASA Early Career Award. The American Geophysical Union awarded Chirayath the Falkenberg Award for “contributions to the quality of life, economic opportunities, and stewardship of the planet through the use of Earth science information.”