Montage of our solar system

Three high-level management changes have been announced by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as part of reorganization involving JPL's programs in energy, defense, and computer and information services.

Under the restructuring, three reassignments were implemented at the level of assistant laboratory director (ALD). The following changes take effect this week:

-- The Defense Programs Office and Civil Programs Office have merged. Jack N. James of La Canada, who served as ALD for defense programs, becomes ALD for defense and civil programs.

-- The Computing and Information Services Office has been elevated to the ALD level. Walter K. Victor of Pasadena has been reassigned this new responsibility and will hold the title of ALD for information services.

-- Geoffrey Robillard of La Canada, the former ALD for civil programs, succeeds Victor as ALD for engineering and review.

The reassignments, announced by Laboratory Director Lew Allen, reflect both shifts in JPL's responsibilities to its government sponsors and changes in its institutional needs.

The decision to combine the Defense Programs and Civil Programs offices comes in response to the changing scope of JPL's civilian, non-NASA efforts. Federal emphasis in the area of alternative energy, for example, has decreased dramatically over the past several years. In particular, the Department of Energy (DOE) plans to phase out the JPL-managed Flat-Plate Solar Array Project by the end of fiscal 1986. The project has been dedicated to the development of more economical solar cell technologies.

Although JPL will continue to conduct research and development in support of national needs in the civil area, the program is expected to become somewhat smaller in the next few years. Other goals of the combining of Civil Programs and Defense Programs are to increase management efficiency and to improve coordination of technology efforts for JPL's non-NASA sponsors.

The second announced change -- the realignment of the Computing and Information Services Office -- recognizes recent developments in computing at JPL. One is the rapid growth of computers and computerized communications in all areas of activity. JPL now has in excess of 2,1OO microprocessor-based personal computers distributed throughout the Laboratory.

James, Robillard and Victor are all long-time JPL managers. They joined JPL in 195O, 1952 and 1953, respectively.

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