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Robert K. Crouch

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Roger K. Crouch, of Washington, D.C., has had a remarkable career as a scientist and astronaut, which included two NASA Space Shuttle missions.

Crouch earned a master’s degree in 1968 and doctorate in 1971, both in physics from Virginia Tech. Prior to this, he earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Tennessee Tech University.

As a payload specialist aboard STS-83 Columbia on April 4, 1997, and then three months later on STS-94 Columbia, Crouch logged more than 471 hours in space and conducted experiments in a wide range of physical sciences while on orbit. His research-based career ranged from techniques and types of semiconductor crystal growth to electrical and optical material properties, and his work led to the publication of more than 40 technical papers and 50 technical conference reports.

In addition to flying in space, Crouch was lead scientist for the Microgravity Space and Applications Division from 1985 to 1996; conducted crew training, flight and post-flight activities from 1996 until 1998; senior scientist for the Office of Life and Microgravity Sciences at NASA-HQ from 1998 to 2000; and was senior scientist for the International Space Station from 2000 until 2004. He served as program scientist on five different Spacelab flights and continued exploring and pioneering several space research related projects.

Now retired from NASA and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Crouch consults with various firms and continues to teach and inspire the next generation of space explorers and Scientists. Crouch is a member of the American Physical Society, Association of Space Explorers, Sigma Pi Sigma, Kappa Mu Epsilon, Association of Space Explorers, and American Association of Crystal Growth. In addition, he serves on the advisory board for the Tennessee Tech University Research Foundation, Tennessee Tech Oakley STEM Center, and board of directors for Cubes in Space.

Crouch has received numerous awards from NASA for his service including two NASA Space flight medals, a NASA Exceptional Performance Award, and a NASA Special Achievement Award.

An enthusiastic supporter of the College of Science and Virginia Tech, Crouch now serves as a member of the Dean’s Roundtable Advisory Board. In 1998, he received the university’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.