Jordan P. Evans
'93, B.S., Aerospace Engineering, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA; Aztec
Deputy Director for Engineering & Science Directorate
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jordan Evans manages the Mechanical Systems Division of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
responsible for leading 700 engineers and scientists in the development of advanced
robotic systems for the exploration of our universe. For 7 years, in roles as both
the Engineering Development and Operations Manager and Deputy Flight System Manager
for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity" rover project, Mr. Evans led the
MSL team through the challenges of design, assembly, testing, and ultimately through
early operations on the surface of Mars.
Mr. Evans’ career includes working for Northrop on the first two operational B-2 Stealth
Bombers and ten years working on projects at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in
Greenbelt, MD. In addition to the Curiosity Rover, his past projects include the Hubble
Space Telescope, Far Ultraviolet and Gamma Ray space telescope missions, a space-based
Gravitational Wave Detector, and numerous advanced concept studies.
Regularly called on to lead the investigation of mission-impacting problems, Mr. Evans
brings a healthy mix of technical experience, leadership skills, and humor to otherwise
uncomfortable situations and has received numerous awards for his leadership and ability
to balance risk effectively. Mr. Evans has nine NASA Achievement Awards for exceptional
contributions to projects and is a recipient of the prestigious NASA Outstanding Leadership
Medal, one of our nation’s highest civilian honors. For his work on the Curiosity
Rover, his team received the AIAA Award for Excellence and the Robert J. Collier Trophy
(on display in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum).
Mr. Evans is sought after to share the challenges of his work with the national and
international media and as a speaker at numerous conferences, including TEDx, Compute
Midwest, the Campanile Foundation, IEEE Aerospace Conference, American Urological
Association, and the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons.
An accomplished jazz musician, Mr. Evans regularly performs with big bands and small
jazz ensembles in the Southern California area. Additionally, Mr. Evans is a consultant
for the National Academy of Sciences’ "Science & Entertainment Exchange" and serves
as a science consultant for major motion pictures.
- College of Engineering – Advisory Board Member
- Engineering Interdisciplinary Sciences (EIS) Campaign Committee – Committee Member
- Industrial Advisory Board, Department of Aerospace Engineering – Board Member