Speaker Bio

Dr. Scott Bolton

Southwest Research Institute

Dr. Scott Bolton is the Director of the Space Sciences Department at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas. Dr. Bolton is also the Principal Investigator for the Juno project, a project within NASA’s New Frontiers Program. Prior to being Director at SwRI, Dr. Bolton was a senior scientist and manager at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for over 25 years. During his tenure as Director of Space Science at SwRI, Dr. Bolton oversaw the launches of New Horizons and IBEX, the selection of Juno, the confirmation of MMS, and the delivery of hardware for a number of non-NASA programs related to national security. As director of SwRI’s Space Science Department, Dr. Bolton is responsible for the approximately 140 engineers and scientists working on over a dozen programs including new proposals, instrument development, mission operations and scientific data analysis.

As Principal Investigator of Juno, Dr. Bolton is responsible for all aspects of the Juno program including project management by JPL, spacecraft development at Lockheed Martin, all science instruments, launch vehicle development and operation, and the resulting scientific analysis throughout the life of the project. Dr. Bolton has more than 30 years experience in the field of aerospace and space science. He has held a wide range of positions including those associated with mission design, engineering, scientific research and program management for various space missions related to NASA’s exploration of the Earth, the solar system, and the fields astrophysics and space physics. In addition to his scientific research, Dr. Bolton’s experience at JPL includes team management, instrument design and delivery, mission development, science planning, and science operations. Dr. Bolton received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from U. Michigan in 1980, and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics from U.C. Berkeley in 1990.

Dr. Bolton is a Co-Investigator on a number of NASA missions including experiments on the Cassini and Galileo missions. Dr. Bolton chaired the Titan science group for the Cassini-Huygens mission and was responsible for the formulation of the scientific investigation of Saturn’s moon Titan. Dr. Bolton has been a Principal Investigator with NASA on various research programs since 1988. His research includes the modeling of the Jovian and Kronian radiation belts, atmospheric dynamics and composition, and the formation and evolution of the solar system. He has authored over 150 scientific papers, five book chapters, and consulted/appeared on five space science documentaries. He received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2002; the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 1994; JPL Individual Awards for Exceptional Excellence in Leadership in 2002, 2001, and 1996, and Excellence in Management in 2000; he has also received twelve NASA Group Achievement Awards. Dr. Bolton maintains a relationship with JPL and California Institute of Technology through a special appointment as a Senior Staff Scientist.

Dr. Bolton also leads a number of educational programs aimed at developing science, math and art skills for children from elementary to high school level. As part of the NASA Juno educational Outreach Program, Dr. Bolton has dedicated over $14M to educational programs involving both formal and informal education including the creation of science and math curriculum driving new national standards for elementary level education (an age bracket known to be underserved in this area). Dr. Bolton has leveraged his investment by assembling a number of corporate sponsors dedicated to his NASA educational programs, including Honda, Canon, Lego, Apple and Microsoft. Dr. Bolton leads an innovative program, in partnership with the Lewis Center for Educational Excellence, that provides an opportunity for elementary to high school level children to experience the scientific and engineering process directly. This program trains teachers on science and math education and provides access to NASA research facilities and scientists to hundreds of schools around the country Through his additional independent efforts, Dr. Bolton’s has produced a number of musical concerts, art exhibits, scientific documentaries and videos aimed at inspiring and motivating children for their academic studies. He is one of two founding members of the Vangelis Foundation in Athens, Greece dedicated to the combined study of Science, Math, Art, Music and Philosophy.