2008 William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement
Charles Elachi is the director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and vice president of the California Institute of Technology. He joined JPL in 1970 and is professor of electrical engineering and planetary science at Caltech. Elachi has been a principal investigator on a number of research and development studies and flight projects sponsored by NASA. These include the Shuttle Imaging Radar series, the Magellan imaging radar at Venus and the Cassini Titan radar. He is author of more than 230 publications in the fields of active microwave remote sensing and electromagnetic theory, and holds several patents in those fields. As JPL's director for space and Earth science programs from 1982 to 2000, he was responsible for the development of numerous flight missions and instruments for Earth observation, planetary exploration and astrophysics. In 1989, asteroid 1982 SU was renamed 4116 Elachi in recognition of his contribution to planetary exploration. Elachi has chaired a number of strategic planning committees for NASA. He has lectured in more than 20 countries about space exploration and Earth observation. He participated in a number of archeological expeditions in Egypt, Oman and China. His numerous awards have included being honored as one of "America's Best Leaders" by U.S. News & World Report (2006), the Royal Society of London's Massey Award (2006), Lebanon's Order of Cedars (2006), the American Astronautical Society's Space Flight Award (2005), the National Defense Industrial Association's Bob Hope Distinguished Citizen Award (2005) and NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2005). He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the International Academy of Astronautics.