November 20, 2002
Dr. James Breckinridge has returned to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. to serve as the Origins Theme Technologist for NASA's Origins Program. The program seeks to answer two enduring human questions: Where do we come from? Are we alone?
During his previous employment at JPL from 1976 to 1999, he formed and managed JPL's optical sciences section, and served as an optics technologist in the observational systems division, which developed the Hubble telescope's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 to repair the telescope's flawed optical system. During his three-year assignment at the National Science Foundation, Breckinridge held two positions -- as program director for Advanced Technology and Instruments and program manager for the National Radio Astronomy Observatory.
Breckinridge received his bachelor's degree in physics from Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio, and his master's and doctorate degrees in optical sciences from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He holds six patents for innovative optical systems and has authored many scientific papers. His numerous honors include being president of the International Society for Optical Engineering and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Breckinridge and his wife, Ann, live in Pasadena, Calif.
Contacts: Colleen Sharkey (818) 354-0372