Dava Newman, as an aerospace engineer, administrator, and educator, you’ve pioneered technological innovations that are paving the way for exploration and helping to bring a human mission to Mars within reach.
Watching the moon landing as a five-year-old inspired you to dream big, and before long, you were propelled like a rocket from your home in Montana into a career in space.
With advanced degrees from MIT in aero- and astronautics, technology and policy, and aerospace biomedical engineering, you joined the MIT faculty in 1993 driven to make a difference. Believing that a successful human mission to Mars would require new technology and strong leadership, you made it your purpose to provide both.
Over the course of two decades, you led an interdisciplinary team in developing a revolutionary new spacesuit known as the BioSuit™. Employing advanced materials in a streamlined design, it significantly enhances mobility and flexibility over conventional gas-pressured spacesuits.
Soon thereafter, you were confirmed by the U.S. Senate to the number two post at NASA, becoming only the third woman to hold the title of deputy administrator.
Throughout your distinguished career, including, most recently, as director of the MIT Media Lab, you have championed the role of diversity and inclusion in fueling innovation, regularly bringing people from all walks of life and disparate disciplines together to achieve technological and scientific breakthroughs.
For your outstanding achievements in aerospace engineering, for your visionary leadership of our country’s space program, and for your passion and commitment to exploration, education, and innovation in the broadest sense, Dartmouth is proud to award you the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.