Decorated NASA astronaut David Wolf and Indianapolis businessman/philanthropist Fred Klipsch, both Purdue University alumni, will serve as members of the new Users Advisory Group for the National Space Council. Vice President Mike Pence announced the appointments during an event at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida.
They are among 29 individuals selected to serve on the advisory group from non-federal organizations. They will provide expertise and perspectives in relevant fields. The group is sponsored by NASA and reports to the National Space Council on a range of issues. The council was reestablished in June after disbanding in 1993. It is intended to give direction to U.S. space policy.
Wolf, an Indianapolis native logged 168 days in space over four separate space shuttle missions, including 128 days aboard the Russian Mir space station and led the “spacewalk” team that constructed the International Space Station. From 1983-1990, Wolf led NASA teams producing medical research instrumentation for spaceflight, including state-of-the-art technology for three-dimensional tissue engineering. His initial work at NASA stemmed directly from his research while at Purdue in medical ultrasonics.
A medical doctor, electrical engineer and inventor, Wolf has been awarded 17 U.S. patents, received the NASA Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal in1990, and was named the NASA Inventor of the Year in 1992. In 2011, Wolf was inducted into the Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame for his work in developing the bioreactor, a device that enables the growth of tissue, cancer tumors and virus cultures outside the body in space and on Earth and is now deployed world-wide as state-of-the-art technology.
Wolf earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Purdue in 1978. He was selected as a NASA astronaut in 1990 and is trained as both an astronaut and Russian cosmonaut. Wolf retired from NASA in December 2012 to pursue new entrepreneurial challenges and serve as a visiting professor at Purdue.
Klipsch is a 1964 alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in industrial education from the former College of Technology (now the Purdue Polytechnic Institute). He received an honorary doctorate in 2007 in technology. He was active in Air Force ROTC while at Purdue and was subsequently commissioned an officer upon graduation in the Air Force Space Systems Division in Los Angeles.
From 1964-1968, Klipsch worked with an elite group testing satellite systems in space and also earned his Master of Business Administration degree at California State University Long Beach. He has had a variety of entrepreneurial achievements during his career in two disparate industries: health care and consumer electronics. Klipsch purchased Hospital Affiliates in 1989 and successfully executed a NYSE IPO in 2002 under the name Windrose Medical Properties Trust.
In 2006 Windrose, with more than $1 billion in assets, merged with Healthcare REIT (also a NYSE company.) Klipsch assumed the position of vice chairman and continues to be an active member of the board of directors. He and his wife Judy purchased Klipsch Audio Technologies, a boutique home performance sound company, also in 1989. When the company was sold in 2011 for $166 million, it had achieved global dominance. He continues to serve as chairman of Hoosiers for Quality Education, helping provide Indiana with policy, political and business resources necessary to help all children regardless of where they live or their parents’ income to have access to a quality education.
Fred and his wife Judy recently provided a major endowment to Marian University in support of their new Educators College for teachers.