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Only Technical Teams Can Save Us
Only Technical Teams Can Save Us

Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: Avery Library, Caltech
Speaker: Charlie Pellerin

Please R.S.V.P. at to receive lunch at this event.

The world faces daunting challenges in the areas of energy (the end of cheap oil); the global economy (unprecedented debt everywhere); and the environment (the potential for a 250-foot rise in the sea level if we continue to burn coal). Charlie Pellerin, author of How NASA Builds Teams: Mission Critical Soft Skills for Scientists, Engineers, and Project Teams, knows of no solution to these difficulties that does not involve profound technological advances. On many occasions, ordinary people have done extraordinary things: consider Japan’s development after the Meiji Restoration; the Manhattan Project; and the Apollo Program. These extraordinary accomplishments are not about the people, but the “team social context,” which is a critical factor in managing technical team performance. Join us as Dr. Pellerin shares what he has learned from his work with hundreds of NASA project, management, and engineering teams. His insights just might ease our transition into a very different future.

Dr. Pellerin is the founder and president of 4-D Systems, which fosters the adoption of shifted team social contexts to optimize the performance of teams. Dr. Pellerin co-invented and patented a magnetometer design that flew on Pioneer 11 and nearly every subsequent planetary mission. As director of NASA’s Astrophysics program for a decade, he managed the Hubble Space Telescope that launched with a flawed mirror. He then led the space repair mission that fixed the telescope. Following his NASA tenure, Dr. Pellerin joined the University of Colorado’s business school as a Professor of Leadership and taught undergraduates and MBAs. Dr. Pellerin received a Ph.D. in astrophysics from The Catholic University of America.

This event is free and was made possible with the generous support of the Caltech Robert L. Noland Leadership Fund. All members of the Campus and JPL communities and retirees are welcome. For more information, email or call Steve Matousek at 818-354-6689.

Your membership in CMA is what inspires us to bring great speakers and events to Caltech (Campus and JPL). If you enjoy attending these events, please support CMA so we can continue to provide the best in thought-provoking engagements. Membership is open to all active and retired employees of Caltech and to contract employees as affiliate members. See for more information about our mission.

Join now or renew your membership for FY 2010 at

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