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Photo of Chris Voorhees
   Chris Voorhees
   Mechanical Systems Engineer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, California
United States Of America
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High School: Danville High School, Danville,  IL
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Background Information
I started becoming interested in engineering as a career in high school, and pursued a mechanical engineering degree as my undergraduate education. During my junior year, I received an opportunity to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a cooperative education student. I was hired into JPL's mechanical engineering division, where I worked on several projects, including the Mars Pathfinder mission and a U.S. experiment on Russia's Mars '96 mission. After the 8 month experience, I was thoroughly hooked on JPL as a career. I returned to college and completed my degree in 1996, after which I returned to JPL as a full-time member of technical staff.

Contributions to Mars Exploration

Since my cooperative education tour in 1995, I have been a part of almost every Mars endeavour that JPL has undertaken. In addition to contributions to the Mars Pathfinder, MPL / DS-2, and MER missions, I have also been involved with numerous proposal and pre-project efforts, the most significant of which was the Mars Sample Return pre-project, where I was responsible for the development of the sample containment and transfer hardware until the project was cancelled in early 2000. [more contributions ...]
Personal Reflections

Take every opportunity offered to you that will expose you to the type of work that scientists and engineers actually do on a daily basis. The more you understand how the process of engineering and scientific investigation develops, the better you will be able to make decisions about your future path. [more personal reflections ...]