Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan


Thomas H. Zurbuchen
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Thomas H. Zurbuchen

Professor, Space Science and Aerospace Engineering

Senior Counselor of Entrepreneurship Education

Phone: (734) 647-6835
Fax: (734) 615-9723
[ Link to website ]


Ph.D., M.S., University of Bern


Solar and Heliospheric Physics, Experimental Space Research; Space Systems; Innovation and Entreprenuership 

Personal Introduction

If it's not exploration or innovation, I am usually not too interested in getting involved... But, if I can be part of a team that takes it to the next level, that will not back off in the face of challenges or adversity, that's when I get really, really excited... 

Check out my blog at:

Specializations and Research Interests

  • Advance our understanding of the space environment and its behavior.
  • Developing and  analyzing space mission architectures for various exploration and commercial applications. 
  • Developing new space instruments to explore these space plasmas
  • Exploring and fabricating new particle detectors and instrument technologies suitable for such instruments.
  • Transfer technologies to industry in the form of patents, or by supporing or participating in innovative startup companies.
  • Developing and investigating new theoretical and predictive model of the space environment, including:
    • Solar wind acceleration
    • Formation and properties of solar wind magnetic field
    •  Propagation and acceleration of energetic particles
  • Developing new theoretical concepts and experimental exploration methods of interaction between heliosphere and local interstellar medium

Honors, Awards and Accomplishments

  • Recipient, Presidential Early Career for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) Award
  • Recipient, Young Researcher Award, Swiss National Science Foundation
  • Leading data analysis of active missions and of hardware development efforts, Solar and Heliospheric Research Group
  • Participant, development, construction and calibration of several flight instruments (IND, ACE and SOHO)
  • Leading data analysis projects finding new applications for composition data, most recently as method to trace matter through the magnetosphere
  • Author or Coauthor, 150+ articles in refereed journals on solar and heliospheric phenomena

Professional Service

  • Director, Center for Entrepreneurship, College of Engineering.
  • Part of two standing committees of the National Academy, science and technology definition teams of new NASA missions.
  • Invited speaker, over 50 international conferences and colloquia in many leading Universities and Research Institutions
Updated: 2015-07-30