U.S. Air Force Under Secretary and Former Astronaut to Join Colorado State University

Note to Editors: A photo of Ronald M. Sega is available with the news release at http://newsinfo.colostate.edu/.

Ronald M. Sega, former NASA astronaut and current Under Secretary for the U.S. Air Force, will join Colorado State University as a professor of systems engineering and as vice president for Applied Research for the Colorado State University Research Foundation (CSURF).

Sega brings decades of experience in applying academic research to real-world situations. Since his 2001 appointment as Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E) at the U.S. Department of Defense, Sega has focused his efforts on three areas of emphasis: energy and power, aerospace, and knowledge and surveillance. While he served as the DDR&E, the science and technology budget grew by 40 percent to $10.5 billion in 2005 from $7.5 billion in 2001. As Under Secretary of the Air Force since August 2005, Sega was responsible for developing an energy strategy that included an emphasis in renewable energy – the Air Force purchased approximately 1 million megawatt hours of renewable energy in 2005 and 2006.

Sega is renewing his own strong ties in Colorado, formerly serving as the dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs from 1996 to 2001.

"Ron’s remarkable experiences will benefit not only the students and researchers on campus, but companies in the private sector that need highly educated, well-trained engineers," said Larry Edward Penley, president of Colorado State University. "Ron Sega is one of our nation’s most seasoned and respected military leaders, and he brings an extraordinary body of experience and knowledge to the university. We are honored to welcome him to Colorado State where his work will continue to build on CSU’s reputation of excellence as one of the top research universities in the nation."

"Colorado is expanding its activities in energy research and systems engineering, and Colorado State University is engaged in important research in renewable power sources, biomedical research and infectious disease study," said Sega. "I look forward to joining the CSU team and hope to support increased collaboration with the community."

At Colorado State, Sega will split his time between CSURF, a private, non-profit advocacy organization for the university, and Colorado State University’s College of Engineering, where he will serve as professor of systems engineering.

Added Tony Frank, provost and senior vice president, "He’ll also help further develop CSU’s research and academic programs in systems engineering to serve the needs of Colorado’s private sector. We think there’s a definite need out there, with the aerospace industry in particular, and Ron’s the right guy to help us build support for that program with other research universities throughout the state."

Sega will begin work at Colorado State in September, and will join a former federal colleague at Colorado State University.  He will also serve as special assistant to Bill Farland, the university’s vice president for Research, who previously served as the top ranking scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency.

A former astronaut, Sega flew two missions into space – on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1994 and as the payload commander for the third shuttle/Mir docking mission aboard Atlantis in 1996. Sega received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy, his master’s degree from The Ohio State University and his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado.