A native of New Zealand, William H. Pickering came to the U.S. in 1929 to study physics at Caltech under Robert A. Millikan.
He became professor of electrical engineering at Caltech in 1936. In 1944 he joined the staff of the newly formed Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in Pasadena, California; he became JPL's director in 1954, retaining the position until 1976. Pickering's papers
document his professional career as a scientist and administrator from 1959 on.
William H. Pickering was born in Havelock, a small town on New Zealand's South Island, in 1910. He came to the United States
to study at Caltech in 1929. He received his BS from Caltech in 1932, his MS in 1933 and his PhD in Physics in 1936. William
Pickering's graduate advisor was Robert Millikan. After completing his PhD, he was hired as an assistant professor in Caltech's
Electrical Engineering Department.
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