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Author Topic:   Astronaut Robert Thirsk's post-CSA career
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 29582
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 06-21-2012 08:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Canadian Space Agency (CSA) release
Astronaut Robert Thirsk announces plans to leave the Canadian Space Agency

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk has announced his plans to leave the agency in August 2012. He is a veteran of two spaceflights including Canada's first long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station.

"We salute Dr. Thirsk and his contributions to the Canadian space program as an accomplished and dedicated member of the astronaut corps," said CSA President Steve MacLean. "Over a span of three decades, Robert has contributed to bringing science to the forefront of our space exploration initiatives. We wish him the very best in his new endeavour."

Above: Canadian Space Agency astronaut Robert Thirsk poses for a photo in the Harmony node of the International Space Station.

Dr. Thirsk has been appointed to the position of Vice-President - Public, Government and Institute Affairs of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, effective August 2012, where he'll direct all matters related to strategic relations, public and private sector partnerships, communication and public outreach.

One of the original six Canadian astronauts, Robert Thirsk joined the Canadian Astronaut Program in 1983.

Thirsk first flew in 1996 on space shuttle Columbia on the 17-day Life and Microgravity Spacelab mission.

In 2009, he launched aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and became the first Canadian astronaut to complete a long-duration expedition. As a member of the ISS Expedition 20/21 crew, he and his international crewmates performed multidisciplinary research, robotic operations, maintenance and repair work of Station systems and payloads.


Posts: 1010
From: Ajax, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Apr 2008

posted 06-22-2012 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for alanh_7   Click Here to Email alanh_7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was proud to have met Robert Thirsk a few years back in Ottawa. It was a real pleasure, a true gentleman.

I think its safe to say Canadians are proud of the work he has done with the CSA all these years and wish him the best in his new position.

irish guy

Posts: 283
From: Kerry Ireland
Registered: Dec 2001

posted 06-23-2012 06:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for irish guy   Click Here to Email irish guy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert Thirsk was at the press site for STS-135.


Posts: 2044
From: MA, USA
Registered: Sep 2002

posted 06-26-2012 02:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for BMckay   Click Here to Email BMckay     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob is a class act and will be missed. We have had some great conversations about hockey while he was in orbit as well as before and after.

He once took the time and drove over to the NBL to meet up with my family when we were touring.

I was glad we were able to have him up to Boston and MIT for some school events and a Bruins game.

Good luck Bob!

Hart Sastrowardoyo

Posts: 2424
From: Toms River, NJ
Registered: Aug 2000

posted 03-05-2014 12:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hart Sastrowardoyo   Click Here to Email Hart Sastrowardoyo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thirsk has retired as vice-president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. He is now on the board of directors for LIFT Philanthropy Partners.
LIFT Philanthropy Partners welcomes Dr. Robert Thirsk to board of directors

LIFT Philanthropy Partners is pleased to announce Dr. Robert Thirsk, O.C., O.B.C., has joined its board of directors. The physician, engineer and former astronaut brings a wealth of knowledge to LIFT and its efforts to support health, education, skills training and employment across Canada.

"We are pleased to welcome Robert Thirsk to our board of directors," said Jane Pepino, chair of LIFT Philanthropy Partners. "Robert's knowledge, experience and proven leadership will play an integral role in LIFT's efforts to support large-scale social change in Canada."

Robert has flown on two space missions as a member of the Canadian Space Agency's astronaut corps. In 1996, he flew aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia as part of a 17-day mission that studied life and materials sciences, and in 2009, he became the first Canadian astronaut to complete a long-duration expedition aboard the International Space Station.

Dr. Thirsk recently retired as vice-president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. In this position, he ensured that the organization's partnerships advanced health research for the benefit of patients and the health care system.

"Health, education and skills training have been the foundation for my career dreams. By working strategically with community organizations, LIFT Philanthropy Partners provides these same kinds of opportunities for people across the country," said Dr. Thirsk. "I am pleased to join LIFT's board and contribute to its efforts to drive social change in Canada."

Robert Thirsk holds degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Calgary and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds a doctorate of medicine from McGill University, and a master of business administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Read an interview with Robert Thirsk.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 29582
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-09-2014 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
University of Calgary release
Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk elected University of Calgary Chancellor

Former Canadian astronaut and University of Calgary alumnus Dr. Robert Thirsk has been named the University of Calgary's 13th chancellor.

Thirsk was unanimously elected to the position by members of the university's Senate today, and his four-year term as leader of the Senate and ceremonial head of the university will begin July 2. Media will have an opportunity to meet the new chancellor-elect today at 1:30 p.m., please see details below.

During a long career with the Canadian Space Agency, Thirsk spent more time in orbit than any other Canadian. His passion for space, research and education has engaged many Canadian young people in science and engineering. One example of this engagement is Tomatosphere - a program that Thirsk founded that sends seeds into space and then provides them to schools to use in experiments. Thirsk is also the co-leader of an international team investigating the effect of space travel on the human nervous system and is an adjunct faculty member at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France.

"Robert Thirsk has been a hands-on member of our university community for many years," said outgoing Chancellor Jim Dinning. "Bob's long list of accomplishments, his integrity, and his passion for research and education will inspire students, faculty, staff and alumni for generations."

Thirsk graduated from the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. In 1985, he received the University of Calgary's inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award, the university's highest alumni honour recognizing career achievements for members of the university's alumni family. He received an honorary doctorate in 2009 during a live satellite uplink with the International Space Station, where he lived and worked for six months.

"My education at the University of Calgary gave me the solid foundation I needed for my career," said Thirsk. "Serving as chancellor will be an honour and my way of showing my gratitude to students, faculty, staff and alumni. I think the best thing anyone can do is invest in education, and I am looking forward to helping find ways to make a great institution even better."

Chancellors are passionate ambassadors for higher education who chair the University of Calgary's Senate, work to enhance the university's position in the community, represent the public's interest at the university, and encourage the pursuit of excellence and the recognition of the university's essential role in society.

The chancellor represents the university at ceremonial occasions, presides over convocation ceremonies and confers degrees on behalf of the Senate. The chancellor is an ex-officio member of the university's Board of Governors.

Elizabeth Cannon, University of Calgary president and vice-chancellor, said Thirsk will play a pivotal role in celebrating the university's 50th anniversary and in supporting the Eyes High strategic direction to become one of Canada's top five research universities by 2016, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where the university fully engages the communities it both serves and leads.

"I am thrilled that Bob is the University of Calgary's new chancellor and look forward to seeing how his incredible personal accomplishments and deep commitment to this planet's young people will inspire our entire university community," said Cannon. "He will make an excellent community ambassador for our university's bold and ambitious journey through 2016 and beyond."

Cannon also thanked current chancellor Jim Dinning, who remains in his position until June 30. "It's been a pleasure to work with Jim over the past four years," said Cannon. "I want to express the deep appreciation of the entire community for his enthusiastic support of the university and his dedication to advancing post-secondary education."

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