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Bloomberg Distinguished Professorship in Exploration Robotics

Applied Physics Laboratory, Whiting School of Engineering

Established in 2014 by Michael R. Bloomberg

MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG is a Johns Hopkins alumnus, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies, World Health Organization Global Ambassador for Noncommunicable Diseases, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, and former New York City mayor.

He is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who served as mayor of New York City from 2002-2013 after leading the company he started in 1981 for 20 years. Since leaving City Hall, he has resumed leadership of Bloomberg LP.

Bloomberg was elected mayor less than two months after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Under his leadership, the city rebounded faster and stronger than expected on issues ranging from education to health to economic development.

A lifelong philanthropist, Bloomberg founded Bloomberg Philanthropies, which focuses on five main areas: public health, education, the environment, the arts, and government innovation. He also leads a number of bi-partisan coalitions on urgent issues, including climate change, illegal guns, immigration reform, and infrastructure investment. In January 2013, he made the $350 million gift that established the Bloomberg Distinguished Professorships and provided undergraduate financial aid.

Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Business School.

Held by James Bellingham

JAMES BELLINGHAM is a pioneer in the development of small, high performance autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) who has led research expeditions across the globe, including the Antarctic, North Atlantic, Mediterranean, South Pacific, and Arctic oceans. His AUVs are widely used within the military, industry, and scientific communities, for instance, for a variety of scientific investigations, inspection of underwater infrastructure, and seafloor mapping.

Much of Bellingham’s work on autonomous systems in the underwater environment has prioritized high-level control, energy management, and vehicle integrity. His innovative work has been instrumental for ocean observing and has provided a new toolbox for exploring previously unexplored parts of the deep ocean. Bellingham has also developed robots to explore the transient part of the ocean—both the physical ocean with its variable temperature, salinity, and currents, and the microbial ocean. This line of research is crucial for understanding the impacts of climate change on the ocean and the planet. Bellingham is also interested in the ethical questions that autonomous systems bring about, advocating the importance of an ethical framework to enable rational decisions surrounding the creation and use of autonomy.

Bellingham joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2021 from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI).