Head shot of David Alexander
  • Professor, Physics and Astronomy, Rice University
  • Director of Rice Space Institute
  • Chair, Faculty Advisory Committee, Kinder Institute for Urban Research

David Alexander is a professor in the department of physics and astronomy at Rice University, where his primary area of research is solar astrophysics. As director, Alexander is responsible for the mission and direction required to develop and achieve the goals and objectives of the Rice Space Institute.

Alexander is a member of the Rice Faculty Senate and author of The Sun, part of the Greenwood Press Guide to the Universe Series. He received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2004 and was appointed a Kavli Frontiers Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences in 2006. He is currently chair of the Mauna Loa Solar Observatory Users’ Committee. He is also former chair of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society and former chair of the Solar Heliospheric Interplanetary Environment (SHINE) program. Alexander has served on many national and professional committees including the NASA Advisory Council’s Heliophysics Subcommittee, the NASA Solar Heliospheric Management and Operations Working Group (SH-MOWG), ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter Payload Committee and the Science Advisory Board of the High Altitude Observatory Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory. He currently serves on the advisory boards of SpaceCom, Deep Space Industries, the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture at the University of Houston, and on the editorial boards of ROOM: The Space Journal and Space Science Reviews.

Alexander joined the faculty at Rice University in 2003, coming from the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto, California, where he was a staff physicist working on the development of advanced space missions for solar physics. He received his bachelor of science in natural philosophy and astronomy, and his doctorate on relativistic cosmological models from the University of Glasgow.