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Adam Steltzner
Adam Steltzner

Adam Steltzner

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Palm Springs, CA US

"When you look back at your life, you remember the great highs and the great lows. The middle sort of doesn't stand out that much, so never fear risking the great lows in pursuit of the great highs."

Career Roadmap

Adam's work combines: Engineering, Science, and Accomplishing Goals

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Day In The Life


I'm an explorer of the solar system, student of human nature, engineer, writer, speaker, and general loose cannon.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Mechanical Engineering

    University of California-Davis

  • Graduate Degree

    Engineering Mechanics

    California Institute of Technology

  • Doctorate

    Engineering Mechanics

    University of Wisconsin-Madison

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    Isn't sure if he ever graduated high school, dropped out of the Berklee College of Music.

  • 2.

    Found himself continually pulling out of things just as they got serious.

  • 3.

    Realized he was becoming his father, who'd never really had a passion.

  • 4.

    Wanted to find something he loved and commit to it, so he took an astronomy course at a community college.

  • 5.

    Says the equation "f=ma" changed his life; he realized that physics used a beautiful language that he wanted to learn.

  • 6.

    "Surrendered to the learning process," worked really hard at his education and earned a Ph.D. in engineering physics.

  • 7.

    Led the mechanical engineering of the Curiosity Mars rover landing.

  • 8.

    Says his job has definite "failures," but thinks that attempting and failing is always better than not trying.