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MEDIA CONTACT : Cheryl Halle

Astronaut and FAU Alumnus Steve Swanson Takes College of Engineering and Computer Science Flag On Next Shuttle Flight

            BOCA RATON , FL (March 11, 2009) – Florida Atlantic University alumnus, Dr. Steven R. Swanson ’86, NASA astronaut and mission specialist, is one of the members of the STS-119 mission, targeted for launch on Wednesday, March 11, from the Kennedy Space Center. The flight will deliver the fourth starboard truss segment to the International Space Station. While on this mission, Swanson will be carrying an FAU College of Engineering and Computer Science flag.

             We are delighted to count Steve Swanson among the many distinguished alumni of our College of Engineering and Computer Science and are very excited about his second shuttle flight into space ,” said Karl K. Stevens, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Steve is a true inspiration to all young people and an outstanding example of what can be accomplished with an engineering degree .”

            Swanson graduated from Steamboat Springs High School in Steamboat Springs, Colorado in 1979.   He received a bachelor of science degree in engineering physics from the University of Colorado in 1983, a master of applied science in computer systems from FAU in 1986, and a doctorate in computer science from Texas A&M University in 1998.  

            In 1987, Swanson joined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as a systems engineer in the Aircraft Operations Division of Johnson Space Center, working on the Shuttle Training Aircraft.   In June 2007, Swanson, serving as a mission specialist, was aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis when it made a round trip to the International Space Station, with the mission of delivering a truss segment and new solar arrays.   On this 11-day voyage, he flew on the space shuttle mission STS-117, logging 336 hours in space, including almost 14 spacewalk hours, that is hours outside of the orbiter’s crew cabin.   Swanson carried with him an FAU flag with alumni pins attached.   Swanson is the recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the Johnson Space Center Certificate of Accommodation and the Flight Simulation Engineering Award.   He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

Swanson was also named the Fall 2007 Florida Atlantic University National Alumni Association (FAUNAA) Hall of Fame recipient.   Established by the FAUNAA in 1985, the Hall of Fame award recognizes distinguished alumni who demonstrate exceptional service and commitment to their profession and to the community.   Swanson has presented community lectures to students from Broward and Palm Beach County schools, speaking about the importance of education and reliving his space mission experiences with the audience.


Florida Atlantic University 's College of Engineering and Computer Science is committed to providing accessible and responsive programs of education and research recognized nationally for their high quality. Course offerings are presented on-campus, off-campus, and through distance learning in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, geomatics engineering, mechanical engineering and ocean engineering.   For more information about the college, please visit .

Florida Atlantic University opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serv es more than 26,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses strategically located along 150 miles of Florida's southeastern coastline. Building on its rich tradition as a teaching university, with a world-class faculty, FAU hosts nine colleges:  College of Architecture, Urban & Public Affairs, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Biomedical Science, the Barry Kaye College of Business, the College of  Education, the College of  Engineering & Computer Science, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.  

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