Michael Watkins, NASA-Jet Propulsion Laboratory - Biography

Michael Watkins
Mission Manager, Curiosity Mars Rover and Manager, Science Division
NASA Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Dr. Watkins is the Manager of the Science Division at JPL, and was in charge of mission system development and then flight operations for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Project from 2004 through early 2013.

He is also the Project Scientist for the GRACE and GRACE Follow-On Earth science missions.  Has also been Project Scientist on the GRAIL lunar gravity mapping mission, and Manager of the Navigation and Mission Design section at JPL. He holds a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.  He has taught space navigation, kalman filtering, and model-based system engineering at undergraduate and graduate levels at Caltech and at the University of Texas.