Illinois Central College Alumnus Receives Presidential Early Career Award as NASA Engineer
ICC alumnus Dr. Jonathan Sauder has been honored on the national stage as President Trump recently named 18 NASA researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).
The PECASE Award is the highest honor given by the US government to scientists and engineers who are beginning their research careers. The award recognizes recipients’ potential to advance the frontiers of scientific knowledge and their commitment to community service, as demonstrated through professional leadership, education, or community outreach.
Dr. Sauder, a 2007 ICC graduate, received the award for demonstrating innovative technologies to enable a new class of space missions. Specifically for his roles as the lead mechanical engineer on RainCube, the first radar in a CubeSat, and as a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Fellow and Principle Investigator for a Venus Rover.
Dr. Sauder credits his ICC experience as laying the foundation for his education. Dr. Sauder went on to complete his undergraduate degree at Bradley University, and his graduate and doctoral degrees at the University of Southern California. “While they say the ‘sky is the limit,’ given the vast expanses of space, there really are no limits to where an education and determination can take you,” said Dr. Sauder. “I want local students to know that an ICC education prepares you for great things and can put you in a place to compete with Ivy League graduates.”
“These PECASE winners represent some of the brightest early career researchers that NASA supports,” said James Green, NASA chief scientist. “They were selected for what they have already accomplished, but more importantly, we expect they will reach even higher goals in the future. They are shining stars.”
For more information, visit nasa.gov.