Imperial College London

PE-CDT alumni visits all the way from NASA

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Joby and the PE-CDT

Our dear alumni Joby Razzell Hollis, now at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, joined us for a very special QA event.

Joseph (Joby) Razzell Hollis is a graduate of the PE-CDT. Now a NASA postdoctoral fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, we welcomed him back to the PE-CDT for a special alumni event.

Joby is currently a member of the Mars 2020 science team, and contributes to the development of analytical pipelines for the SHERLOC instrument, a deep-UV Raman spectrometer on board the next Mars rover.

The PE-CDT hosted an informal QA session for Joby with pizza and drinks for our students to find out what it’s like to work at NASA.

The QA session followed a seminar by Joby in which he described how for Raman spectrometers are being sent to another world for the first time ever! On board NASA's Mars 2020 rover and ESA's Rosalind Franklin rover, Raman spectroscopy will be used to search for chemical signs of life on the red planet. One of these instruments is SHERLOC, a deep-UV Raman scanning micro-spectrometer that will be mounted on the robotic arm of Mars 2020.

Conducting Raman spectroscopy on another planet presents unique opportunities as well as new challenges, and establishing a reliable and representative data analysis pipeline here on Earth will be key to determining the significance of future measurements taken on Mars or beyond. 

  • Planning for Raman spectroscopy on the red planet

    Planning for Raman spectroscopy on the red planet

  • Scanning for signs of life

    Scanning for signs of life

Reporter

Lisa Bushby

Lisa Bushby
Department of Physics