Dr Noureddine Melikechi

Dean of the Kennedy College of Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Member of the SuperCam team for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, and Member of the NASA ChemCam Team on the Curiosity Rover Mission

Dr Melikechi is an Algerian Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physicist, whose work with NASA on the Curiosity rover and the forthcoming 2020 rover is based around lasers and cameras dedicated to peeling back the layers of the Red Planet in order to search for life. Life can’t exist on the surface, however what lies beneath is what Dr Melikechi’s expertise can help to uncover.

He is also dedicated to optical science in human terms, and his research programme is aimed at developing new and sensitive optical techniques, as well as powerful mathematical tools that can be used for the early detection of cancers. It is showing very promising results that may help detection of the disease at the very earliest stage, something which is impossible currently. As a young boy, Dr Melikechi lived in a small village in Algeria where schools did not exist and education was presented by the people. Today, he is living proof that ambition and desire knows no bounds, and is now one the most highly regarded scientists in America and an integral part of NASA’s future Mars exploration missions.