E01 Jordan Evans, Deputy Director for Engineering and Science at NASA JPL

In the first episode of the brand new AI in Action podcast, I discuss space exploration, technology development and AI with Jordan Evans from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab

Welcome to the very first episode of AI in Action, the podcast that breaks down the hype and explores the impact that Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are making on our everyday lives.

Our goal is to share with you the insights of technologists and data science enthusiasts to showcase the excellent work that is been done within AI in Ireland.

Jordan Evans delivered a great talk at the Dublin Tech Summit in April

On today’s episode, I sit down with Jordan Evans, who is the Deputy Director for Engineering and Science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Los Angeles.

After finishing his undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering, Jordan went to work for Northrop on the B-2 Stealth Bomber but he soon he realised that space exploration was his true calling. He moved to Maryland to work for NASA Goddard in the Advanced Applications Section and worked on the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) and on Wide Field Camera – 3 (for the Hubble Space Telescope).

He then moved to Phoenix, Arizona to become the Chief Engineer/Deputy Program Manager for the Gamma Ray Large Area Space Telescope (GLAST) at Spectrum Astro. While at Spectrum, he met several people from JPL and then moved to the Pasadena area in early 2004 to live the Caltech/JPL culture and work on their exciting missions.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory is a unique national research facility that carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. JPL helped open the Space Age by developing America’s first Earth-orbiting science satellite, creating the first successful interplanetary spacecraft, and sending robotic missions to study all the planets in the solar system as well as asteroids, comets and the Earth’s moon. In addition to its missions, JPL developed and manages NASA’s Deep Space Network, a worldwide system of antennas that communicates with interplanetary spacecraft.

JPL continues their world-leading innovation today, implementing programs in planetary exploration, Earth science, space-based astronomy and technology development while applying its capabilities to technical and scientific problems of national significance. JPL’s technology developed to enable new missions are now also applied on Earth to benefit our everyday lives.

I recently got the chance to see Jordan speak at last month’s Dublin Tech Summit and I was delighted to get a few minutes of his time to interview him for the show.

In this episode, you will learn about:

  • What Jordan’s role as the deputy director for engineering and science with NASA JPL involves
  • Technologies used in space exploration that are now used in everyday life on earth
  • What they discovered on Mars throughout the years
  • How Artificial Intelligence will enhance space exploration technologies
  • Upcoming projects, such as Mars 2020 Rover and the Mars helicopter Leonardo
  • The Mindset required to work in NASA and the importance of feedback



What did you enjoy most about Jordan’s podcast? Where you see the future of AI heading in the near future? I would love to hear your thoughts so please leave a comment below.

If you would like to hear more from AI in Action then please subscribe and don’t forget to like and share with your friends on social media.

Subscribe to the AI in Action Podcast:

AI Awards 2018
Connecting Ireland’s AI ecosystem for a higher purpose

The AI Awards is a nonprofit organisation whose aim is to showcase the work of companies and individuals who are applying Artificial Intelligence in both commercial and academic contexts.

It is our mission to support the AI community by recognising the hard work and dedication of those working in the field and to help promote and market Ireland globally as the first-choice home for AI investment and job creation in research and product development.

Applications will open in the coming days for you to submit your project, product or service that you believe has the potential to make an impact in Ireland and around the world.

Check out more details at www.aiawards.ie

Author: AI Ireland

AI Ireland is a non-profit, community-led initiative that aims to showcase and share the knowledge in Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. We host monthly meetups, run the AI in Action podcast and will hold the AI Awards this November. Our goal is to bring together players in the field of AI in order to forge and strengthen ties, and to celebrate the development of AI for the greater good.

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