Meenakshi ("Mini") Wadhwa, PHD
Mini Wadhwa is Director of the Center for Meteorite Studies (CMS) and Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) at Arizona State University. As Director of the CMS, she oversees research and education activities conducted as part of the center’s mission, as well as curation of the world’s largest university-based collection of space rocks. As Professor, her research focuses on the origin and evolution of the Solar System and planets through studies of meteorites, Moon rocks and other extraterrestrial samples returned by spacecraft missions. She has also hunted for meteorites in Antarctica with the NASA- and NSF-funded Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET) Program.
Mini received her PhD in Earth and Planetary Science in 1994 from Washington University in St. Louis. She has served in an advisory capacity for national and international agencies, including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). She is currently serving as a member of the NASA Advisory Council’s Science Committee and Vice President of the Meteoritical Society. She is a fellow of the Explorers Club and the Meteoritical Society. She is a recipient of the Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence Award (2015-2016), the Guggenheim Fellowship (2005-2006) and the Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society (2000). Asteroid 8356 has been named 8356 Wadhwa in recognition of her contributions to planetary science.