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Caldwell: Apollo 11's 50th anniversary

Photo of Barrett Caldwell floating in anti-gravity room
Barrett Caldwell
For the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, IE Professor Barrett S. Caldwell reflected on the lessons learned and how the event inspired him personally.

Caldwell is a Purdue University professor of industrial engineering and aeronautics and astronautics, director of the NASA Indiana Space Grant Consortium, a member of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS), and head of the GROUPER Lab at Purdue. He researches human factors, distributed human supervisory control, and team coordination and performance using information technology, and served one year as a Jefferson Fellow at the U.S. State Department.

While growing up in the 1960s, Caldwell's father (although not an engineer himself) inspired him to define, organize, and structure systems. Caldwell was further inspired by the Apollo 8 mission on Christmas Eve 1968 and the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969. "I could think of no better direction for my life path to take: to pursue a career in astronautics and the grand dream of engineering the space program," he said. Caldwell went on to earn bachelor's degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering and humanities, and a master's and PhD in social psychology. He combined his love of learning and inspiration of the U.S. space program to research and teach industrial and systems engineering.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Caldwell wrote the cover article in the July issue of ISE (Industrial and Systems Engineering) Magazine, and was interviewed for a video to be shown at the Indiana State Museum.

Writer: DeEtte Starr, starrd@purdue.edu

Source: Barrett S. Caldwell, bcaldwel@purdue.edu