Patrick Hill of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) has been named the Parker Solar Probe project manager effective April 1, 2019. In this new role, he will be responsible for overall mission success and execution, including the collection and analysis of science data, sustained flight spacecraft engineering, and mission operations. Parker Solar Probe launched on August 12, 2018 and has so far completed one of 24 close orbits of our Sun to explore the origins of the solar wind and the physics of the solar atmosphere, called the corona. APL designed, built, and operates the mission for NASA.
Hill joined the Parker Solar Probe team in 2012 as deputy project manager for instruments, where he successfully led the mission’s science investigation teams through technology development and preliminary design activities. In 2014, he was named deputy project manager for the entire mission, where he focused on the development, integration, and testing of Parker Solar Probe.
“This has already been a mission of technological innovation and historic space flight achievements,” said Hill, “and we’re less than eight months since launch. It’s been an honor to work with this incredible team from APL and NASA and our other partners, and I’m looking forward to the discoveries and new performance milestones we’ll be setting in the coming years.”
Prior to joining the Parker Solar Probe team, Hill managed several space instrument projects for APL, including as project manager of the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) instrument suite, which launched aboard NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission in 2015. Hill joined APL in 2002 after working in commercial space satellite design, construction, and testing. He graduated magna cum laude from Tuskegee University with a B.S. in aerospace engineering and holds an M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, and a M.S. in technical management from The Johns Hopkins University.
Hill takes over from APL’s Andy Driesman, who is moving on to serve as project manager for another heliophysics mission for NASA, the Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), scheduled for launch in 2024.