Richard Vassar, Ph.D. joined the board of the PCD Foundation in 2016. He has PCD and has personal life experience with PCD diagnosis, treatment, and research. Richard has a keen interest in developing resources for the PCD community and improving awareness, treatment, and continued research within the professional community.
He holds a B.S in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech, followed by a M.S. and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University. Richard worked for NASA, TRW, and for 26 years at Lockheed Martin, designing and building spacecraft as an engineer and program manager. He especially values having contributed to two programs sponsored by NASA and built by Lockheed Martin. Gravity Probe B was launched in 2004 and after 2 years on orbit successfully completed the most sophisticated test to date confirming Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Also, he worked on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) that will launch in 2018. It is the follow‐on to the Hubble Space Telescope that has both improved resolution and the capability to image in the infrared. These features will allow JWST to view the early evolution of the universe immediately following the Big Bang.
Richard is actively involved in bicycling, hiking, and climbing. He is a member of several cycling organizations and is hiking and climbing leader for the Sierra Club. Richard and his wife, Janet, reside in Los Altos, CA. Their daughter, Rachel, is a 4th year medical student at Boston University.