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 Kristine M. McGrath

Astronaut and FAU Alumnus Steve Swanson to Speak to Local Students

            BOCA RATON , FL (December 11, 2007) – Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science presents Dr. Steven R. Swanson ’86, NASA astronaut and mission specialist, for a lecture titled “Discover Space.” Swanson will speak to high-achieving high school students from Palm Beach and Broward county schools and top FAU engineering students about his experiences in the space program and the value of an education. The lecture will take place on Thursday, December 13 at 10 a.m. in the University Theatre on FAU’s Boca Raton campus, 777 Glades Road. This event is by invitation only.

             “We are very excited and honored to have Steve Swanson return to FAU to be recognized as our distinguished alumnus and to speak to students interested in engineering,” said Karl K. Stevens, dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science. “Steve Swanson serves as an inspiration to students to show them what they can accomplish 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. Prior to joining NASA, Swanson worked for General Telephone and Electronics in Phoenix, Arizona as a software engineer, working on the real-time software of telephone system multiplexer/demultiplexers.

            In 2007, Swanson 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. He is currently assigned as a mission specialist on the STS-119 mission, targeted for launch in the fall of 2008. The flight will deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and truss element to the International Space Station.

            Students will have an opportunity to ask Swanson questions at the lecture, which will be moderated by Dean Karl K. Stevens and Boca Raton Mayor Steven L. Abrams. At the end of the lecture, Swanson will be presented with the “Key to the City” by Abrams.


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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