Laura E. Newlin

Planetary Protection Engineer
Office: 818-354-0130


Laura Newlin received a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Claremont Graduate School, both in Claremont, California. She joined JPL 30 years performing stochastic modeling of Space Shuttle Main Engine components. She is currently a Senior Engineer with the Biotechnology and Planetary Protection Group. Her 16 years of experience as a planetary protection engineer includes support to Mars Climate Orbiter, Mars Polar Lander, Mars Exploration Rover, Mars Science Laboratory, Phoenix, Juno, Mars Odyssey, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Jupiter Europa Orbiter, InSight, Mars 2020, MarCO, the Europa mission, and numerous spacecraft and instrument proposal teams.

Research Interests

Planetary Protection Implementation

Engineering and Mathematics

Professional Experience

2000 – Present, JPL: Planetary Protection (PP)

1997 – 2000, JPL: DNP MARK II Project / DMIE

1986 – 1997, JPL: Probabilistic Failure Assessment / Probabilistic Physcis of Failure

Engineering and Mathematics Clinic

1984-85: Perkin-Elmer, Incorporated
Development of an algorithm for use on the IBM PC to optimize the use of mass spectral data for their ICAMS (Industrial Central Atmosphere Monitoring System). Team Leader.

1984, ITT Barton Instruments
Analytical study of vibrating instrument densitometer. Personal contribution included a vibrational analysis using STARS

1983, ARCO Oil and Gas Company
Developed several models to predict fatigue life of drill pipes including a fracture mechanics model and finite element analysis using STARS. Team Leader, Fall 1983.


1986, Claremont Graduate School / Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California
M.S. Applied Mathematics
Thesis: “Optimization of Mass Spectral Data for the ICAMs(Industrial Central Atmosphere Monitoring System)”

1985, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California
B.S. Engineering
Engineering courses include structural mechanics, dynamics of elastic systems, solid and fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, advanced system engineering, materials, dynamics, and experimental engineering

Selected Awards

October 2012 - Group Achievement Award to the Juno Project Engineering Team “For outstanding contributions to the delivery of the design, analysis, verification and validation of the Project System leading to Juno's successful launch and early cruise”

August 2010 - Team Bonus Award to the Juno Planetary Protection Team “For excellence in the development of the Juno planetary protection concept and associated analysis. For the clear and concise description of …”

July 2008 - Group Achievement Award to the MER 3rd and 4th Extended Mission Team, “For determination, enthusiasm, talent, ingenuity, technical skill, and scientific curiosity in continuing the exploration of the surface of Mars”

October 2004 - Group Achievement Award to the Mars Exploration Rover Mission Assurance Team “For outstanding leadership and contributions of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission Assurance Team”

April 2004 - Certificate of Recognition, Mechanical Systems Engineering and Research Division, “For outstanding contribution to the success of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission”

September 2003 - Bonus Award, Leadership Level B, MER Planetary Protection Manager

May 2000 – Group Achievement Award to the ISO 9001 Implementation Team, “For contributions to the successful certification of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s compliance with ISO 9001”

June 1999 - Bonus Award, Outstanding Accomplishment, Level C

May 1999 - NOVA Award DMIE Operations Team

January 1999 - NOVA Award, Commitment to Excellence

December 1996 - NASA Tech Brief NPO-19631, “Program Simulates Effects of Radiation Damage in CCDs”

October 1996 - Certificate of Recognition, NASA Software of the Year Honorable Mention, “For the creative development of a technological contribution which has been determined to be of significant value in the advancement of the space and aeronautical activities of NASA, entitled: Probabilistic Failure Assessment for Fatigue and Flaw Propagation”

August 1996 - NOVA Award, Quality Science and Technology Development, “In recognition of the exceptional effort in the generation of computer software for the application of Probabilistic Failure Analysis Methodology"

November 1995 - NASA Tech Brief NPO-18965, “Probabilistic Failure Assessment for Fatigue”

November 1994 - Group Achievement Award, Safe Liquid Propellant Technology Task Team, “For excellence in conducting engineering and technical development instrumental for the U.S. Army’s AFAS Program and Liquid Propellant Program”

May 1993 - NASA Tech Brief NPO-18389, “Evaluating Risk of Failure with Limited Information”

February 1989 - Group Achievement Award, JPL Space Shuttle Propulsion Certification Task Team, “For significant contributions to the Rogers Commission’s understanding of the assessment and certification of reliable Space Shuttle operation in flight and for the Team’s development of advanced probabilistic methods, which are being implemented to improve the reliability of future Shuttle missions,”

Selected Publications

Kastner, Jason, et al. "Tools for Assessing Planetary Protection Implementation Strategies." 2007 IEEE Aerospace Conference. IEEE, 2007.

Schubert, W. W., et al. "Microbial certification of the MER spacecraft." General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. Vol. 103. 2003.

Newlin, L., et al. "Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft." 35th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Vol. 35. 2004.

Newlin, L., et al. "Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft." 34th COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Vol. 34. 2002.

Ebbeler, D. H., L. E. Newlin, and N. R. Moore. "Probabilistic Modeling of Radiation Damage in Charge-Coupled Devices." Probabilistic Mechanics & Structural Reliability. ASCE.

Moore, N. R., et al. "Probabilistic Fatigue Life Analysis of High Density Electronics Packaging." (1996).

Ebberle, D. H., et al. "Alternative computational approaches for probabilistic fatigue analysis." AIAA Paper 1359 (1995): 1995.

Moore, N. R., et al. "An improved approach for flight readiness certification: Probabilistic models for flaw propagation and turbine blade failure. Volume 2: Software documentation." (1992).

Sutharshana, S., et al. "Probabilistic high cycle fatigue failure analysis with application to liquid propellant rocket engines." Proceedings of AIAA/ASME/ASCE/AH4/ASC, 31st Structures, Structural Dynamics, and Materials Conference. 1990

Newlin, L., et al. "Probabilistic Low Cycle Fatigue Failure Analysis with Application to Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines." Proceedings of the AIAA/ASME/AHS/ASC, 31st Structures, Structural Dynamics and Materials Conference. 1990.

Kral, E., et al. "Fracture mechanics estimates drillpipe fatigue." Oil Gas J.;(United States) 82.32 (1984)

Kral, Edward, et al. "Fracture-mechanics concept offers models to help calculate fatigue life in drillpipe." Oil Gas J.;(United States) 33.33 (1984).

CL#: 17-1953, 18-1585

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