Hans Mark photo

Honorary Member

Chancellor Emeritus, The University of Texas System and Professor Emeritus, The University of Texas at Austin

A.B. PHY 1951, University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. PHY 1954, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Hans Mark’s varied career began with receiving his bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley and subsequently a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.

Highlights of Mark’s career begin with his position as professor and chairman of the nuclear engineering department of the University of California, Berkeley. In 1969 he became Director of NASA-Ames Research Center. During his time there, the Pioneer 10 and 11 satellites were launched for which he was awarded membership in the National Academy of Engineering. He also initiated the Bell XV-15 tiltrotor aircraft, which led to the development of the “Osprey.”

In 1977 President Carter appointed Mark as Under Secretary of the Air Force and Director of the National Reconnaissance Office. He guided the NRO through a major expansion and upgrades. In 1979 he became the Secretary of the Air Force and initiated the establishment of the U.S. Air Force Space Command. In 1981, Mark was nominated as Deputy Administrator of NASA under Ronald Reagan. During his term of service he oversaw the first fourteen shuttle flights and initiated the International Space Station program. 

After his success with the Space Station, Mark returned to academia as Chancellor of The University of Texas System, a post he held for eight years. During that time, he also joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics as a professor, a position he held until he retired in the summer of 2014. His time as Chancellor was a period of expansion for the UT System, adding UT Pan American and UT Brownsville to the system as well as expanding research funding and adding two research consortia, MCC and SEMATECH. During his time as professor, Mark was a revered teacher and mentor. He worked diligently helping to develop the aerospace capstone course and leading a “Return to Mars” group. He also spent time in research for the Navy developing the electromagnetic railgun.

In June of 1998, Mark took a leave-of-absence to return to the Pentagon as the Director of Defense Research and Engineering. He was the technical advisor to the Secretary of Defense and helped in the Navy’s decision to adopt defense against ballistic missiles.

Hans Mark passed away on Dec. 18, 2021.