Recipient of the 2016 Schmitt Prize: John Henning
Joined Caltech: 1984
On the job: Henning, senior research engineer at Palomar Observatory, designs and maintains control systems to guide and safeguard Palomar's three telescopes. Since he is so familiar with telescopes' inner workings, he is often involved in troubleshooting and improvements at the Observatory.
Nickname: "The Wizard," since Henning has a solution to every challenge.
Why he loves his work: "I enjoy working with our dedicated, hard-working staff. And getting the telescopes to perform new tricks is a lot of fun; there is always an opportunity to be creative."