Edward C. Stone, a professor of physics at the California Institute of Technology, has been named the new director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Stone succeeds current director Lew Allen, Jr., who is retiring from the post in December.
JPL, a 127-acre laboratory with an annual budget of $1 billion, is operated by Caltech for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Stone's affiliation with the lab dates to 1972, when he became the chief scientist for the Voyager project.
Previously, he had served as both a researcher and a member of the teaching faculty at Caltech. He earned both his master's degree and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago. According to Caltech president Thomas E. Everhart, Stone was the unanimous first choice of the JPL search committee.
Since the launch of the two Voyager spacecraft in 1977, Stone has coordinated the efforts of 11 teams of...