EVENT:  Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides will present the keynote address, “Opening Space to Change the World for Good,” at the Aerospace Symposium & Expo at UCI. Hundreds of high school and college students from across Southern California have registered to attend the event, designed to inspire an interest in aerospace careers and offer hands-on experiences with leading-edge technologies. After the symposium, an expo will provide interactive displays by aerospace-related employers, organizations and universities. Exhibits will include the UCI mobile rocket lab trailer, the first of its kind in the country and a key asset in the race among universities to be the first to launch a rocket into space.

WHEN/WHERE:  1-4 p.m. for the symposium and 4-7 p.m. for the expo, on Thursday, Sept. 7, at the UCI Student Center (bldg. 113, grid E8 on campus map: https://communications.uci.edu/documents/pdf/UCI_16_map_campus_core.pdf)

INFORMATION:  Media planning to attend should contact Lori Brandt at 949-824-8306 or lbrandt@uci.edu. Parking is available in the Student Center Parking Structure (grid D9 on campus map). Parking is complimentary for media who RSVP in advance.

1 p.m.        Keynote address by George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic

1:45 p.m.   Industry panel featuring executives from Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Dassault Systemes, UCI, Base 11 and Make in LA

4-7 p.m.     Expo showcasing industry career opportunities, UCI’s HyperXite pod and team, the Mars repair and assembly unit from the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah, a lunar lander, student-built rockets, a student-built Mars rover from the University Rover Challenge, a STEAM mobile trailer and more. 

BACKGROUND:  Co-hosted by UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering, Base 11 and Dassault Systemes, the Aerospace Symposium & Expo is being held in conjunction with the International Mars Society Convention.

George Whitesides is the CEO of Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson’s human spaceflight venture, and The Spaceship Co., a manufacturer of advanced space vehicles. With its innovative spacecraft, the company seeks to transform access to space to change the world for good. Prior to Virgin Galactic, Whitesides served as chief of staff for NASA. He’s currently co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies.