1. K-State home
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »From K-State to NASA: Alum's lecture to discuss role in Chilean mine rescue

K-State Today

September 20, 2011



From K-State to NASA: Alum's lecture to discuss role in Chilean mine rescue

By Communications and Marketing

A Kansas State University alumnus who provided medical support in the 2010 Chilean mining disaster will deliver the fall 2011 Eyestone Lecture for K-State's College of Engineering.

Dr. James Michael Duncan from the NASA headquarters office of international and interagency relations will present "Chilean Miner Rescue: The NASA Experience" at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, in Fiedler Hall Auditorium. The lecture is open to the public.

Duncan led the NASA team that went to Chile in September 2010 to support the rescue of 33 trapped miners. For their efforts, Duncan and his team were awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal and the 2011 Samuel J. Heyman, Service to America, National Security and International Affairs Medal.

Prior to his current NASA headquarters assignment, Duncan was deputy chief medical officer, Space Life Sciences Directorate, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He began his work with NASA when he joined Wyle Laboratories in 1999 to provide medical coverage to astronauts in training in Star City, Russia. Subsequently, he became a NASA flight surgeon in 2000 and participated in the space shuttle program as deputy crew surgeon for STS-104 and STS-108 before being named lead crew surgeon for Expedition 6 to the International Space Station. He served as manager of medical operations from 2002 to 2004, and as chief of space medicine from 2004 to 2009.

Duncan has also received the Johnson Space Center Superior Achievement Award and the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal.

A native of Wichita, Kan., he received a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering from K-State in 1974, going on to complete his doctor of medicine degree at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Duncan is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and is certified in internal medicine and pulmonary disease. He is a full member of the International Academy of Astronautics, having been elected by his peers in 2010. He is also a Federal Aviation Administration senior aviation medical examiner, a fellow in the American College of Chest Physicians and an instrument-rated private pilot.

Duncan and his wife live in Bethesda, Maryland.

The Eyestone Lecture Series, established in 2000, is funded by an endowment of the late Fred and Mona Eyestone. Fred Eyestone, a 1941 K-State graduate in electrical engineering, was a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council and a Distinguished Service Award recipient.