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Hubble Telescope Engineer Volunteers at Ariel U

Randy Billingham, who worked on corrective optic for the Hubble Space Telescope, volunteers to teach at Samaria university.
By Frank Mecklenburg
First Publish: 11/22/2011, 12:39 PM

Randy Billingham with student.
Randy Billingham with student.
Frank Mecklenburg

The Ariel University Center (AUC) continues to attract volunteers from abroad who see bolstering the academic institution as a personal mission. This year AUC is hosting a highly qualified electrical engineer from the USA, with 30 years of experience in the field, as a volunteer teacher.

Randy Billingham of Iowa, who will be volunteering for the entire school year, was part of a team that worked on corrective optic for the Hubble Space Telescope. Randy says it was like fitting a new pair of glasses on the telescope.

Randy and his wife and son have all come to live in Ariel for this school year mainly so his wife, Mary, and son, Jason, can be a part of a special External Studies Modern Hebrew and Jewish Heritage program for non Jews from other countries. This one year program is organized by Heartland Studies – chaired by Kobi Pinhasov – in conjunction with AUC.   

Graduate student and undergraduate lab instructor, Eldad Holdengreber, said that the students are already benefiting from Randy’s expertise and knowledge, and that the guest lecturer "is providing new information as well as reinforcing the knowledge they already have." Eldad also said that while they have had advisors from other countries it is very unique to have a volunteer for an entire year. Students praised Randy for helping them understand "the smaller goals needed in order to complete their major project." 

AUC's engineering program has students focusing on Electrical Engineering and Electronics, Industrial Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics (robotics), Civil Engineering, and Materials Science. The four areas that Randy is helping with include: mechanical, electrical, software, and project management.  

(Courtesy Samaria Liaison Office)