Adam Steltzner, team leader and chief engineer of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover Project entry, descent, and landing (EDL) phase, will be the opening session speaker at the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s (AIHA) 2016 American Industrial Hygiene Conference and Exposition  AIHce in Inner Harbor Baltimore, Md. The opening session, titled "The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership and High Stakes Innovation," will take place on Monday, May 23.

For 10 years, Steltzner led a team of engineers who invented, designed, tested and retested the revolutionary "sky crane" landing system that successfully placed the Mars Rover Curiosity on the planet's surface in 2012. Five times heavier than its predecessors, Curiosity required an entirely new landing system for the perilous seven-minute phase when the one-ton rover-entering Martian atmosphere at 13,000 mph-had to stop fully on the surface. Since then, Steltzner has been awarded honors ranging from the Smithsonian's American Ingenuity Award in technology to GQ magazine's Spaceman of the Year.

AIHce will also feature a wide variety of technical sessions, with titles including:

  • Outstanding Environmental and Occupational Health Issues: Comparing the Situation in the United States and Globally
  • Fatigue and Shiftwork: Why Is Everyone So Tired 24/7?
  • Elevating EHS Leading Indicators: From Defining to Designing
  • Occupational Exposure Banding in Industry and Emergency Response Applications
  • Women Leaders in the Occupational Safety and Health Movement

Tuesday's general session, "The AIHce Morning Show: Pathways to Progress in Science and Practice," will be hosted by AIHA President Daniel H. Anna, PhD, CIH, CSP, with speakers David Michaels, PhD, MPH, assistant secretary of labor for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and John Howard, MD, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The general session will be followed by an "ask-the-expert" session with Dr. Michaels and Dr. Howard.

For more information about AIHce, please visit or view the AIHce 2016: Pathways to Progress video.