ALMA’s Thorburn and Microsoft’s Tennenhouse Present to IMS2013 Closing Ceremonies

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 9:49am
International Microwave Symposium

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ALMA’s Department of Engineering Head and joint ALMA Observatory Project Manager, Michael Thorburn, and Dr. David Tennenhouse, Corporate Vice President of Technology Policy for Microsoft, will present closing ceremony keynotes on Thursday, June 6 at the 2013 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Seattle.

Thorburn’s keynote, “The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA),” will give an overview of ALMA, the world’s largest cooperative earth-based astronomical project located in northern Chile’s Atacama Desert. Thorburn will talk about ALMA’s unique combination of millimeter-wave technologies and high-speed computing technologies that have led to an improved understanding of the composition, formation, and evolution of the stars. The giant telescope was inaugurated just last month, transitioning from a construction project into a full-fledged observatory. ALMA is a partnership between Europe, North America and East Asia in cooperation with the Republic of Chile.

“Mr. Thorburn is making extensive strides in the astronomy field and his work is unparalleled in the industry,” says Tom Raschko, IMS2013 symposium general chair. “With his ALMA radio telescope and years of research, we can now look at stars that are 13.5 billion light years away.”

The final closing keynote, “Wireless to the Rescue,” presented by Dr. Tennenhouse, will address the importance of wireless innovation in today’s fast moving mobile markets. He will also discuss specific advances in spectrum sharing, coordination of technical strategy and policy, and Microsoft advances related to the use of TV white spaces.

“With his in-depth knowledge of the wireless landscape, Dr. Tennenhouse’s keynote will illustrate the importance of finding new solutions to wireless technology as spectrum continues to become an issue for wireless providers and consumers alike across the U.S,” says Raschko.

About Thorburn

As the Head of the ALMA Department of Engineering and joint ALMA Observatory Project Manager, Mr. Thorburn is responsible for the overall coordination of construction and commissioning activities that are conducted together with North American, European and Japanese project managers. He is also responsible for optimizing and implementing engineering operations including all radio-telescope systems and infrastructures.

Prior to ALMA, Mr. Thorburn spent several years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Space Systems/Loral where he managed projects and organizations spanning the fields of space telecommunications, radio science and astronomy, including microwave electronics and antenna technology.

He holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in mathematics and a Doctor of Philosophy in electrical and computer engineering from Oregon State University. In addition, Mr. Thorburn also has a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California.

About Tennenhouse

At Microsoft, Dr. Tennenhouse identifies disruptive technologies and business models and assesses their implications. He also drives focused policy engagements with governments and global institutions. Prior to Microsoft, he held positions with New Venture Partners, subsidiary and Intel Corporation. He also served as a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he led research on gigabit networking, desktop video, software radio, active networks and telecommunication policy. In his earlier work, Dr. Tennenhouse was DARPA’s chief scientist and director of its information technology office.

Dr. Tennehouse holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Toronto and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Cambridge. He is an IEEE fellow and also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and the FCC’s technology advisory board. Dr. Tennenhouse previously served as a board member for start-up companies, as a trustee of various non-profit organizations and on numerous university and government bodies.

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