Former Associate Center Director, Research and Technology
Steven F. Zornetzer was formerly a neurobiologist and professor of neuroscience interested in the problem of how the brain processes information. Zornetzer has evolved from academic to a creative and dynamic leader and senior executive at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.
Currently serving as Ames’ Associate Director, he formerly served as Director of Research and prior to that as Director of Information Sciences and Technology at Ames. He was lead author of the influential book, Introduction to Neural and Electronic Networks (Neural Networks: Foundations and Applications, 1995). Recognized for his leadership in revolutionary information technology-based approaches to aerospace and space exploration missions, his interests range from cognitive, perceptual, and neural sciences to integrative and synthetic biology, biological information processing, molecular biology, genetic engineering, and biomedical science.
Before joining NASA in 1997, he headed the Life Sciences Directorate for the Office of Naval Research (ONR). In 2008 he received the Presidential Distinguished Executive Award and in 2010 NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal. He is a driver for NASA Ames’ leadership in environmental sustainability. Most recently he has focused his efforts on climate change and built environment.
Leading the design and construction of the highest performing, net energy positive building in the Federal Government, Zornetzer’s vision is to design an intelligent adaptive building control system that will optimize dynamically the building’s energy performance and working environment based upon the real-time demands of its occupants. Additionally, the control system is being designed to learn from its own past performance and improve over time.
He was appointed to the Council in 2018.