School of Engineering
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Edward C. Wells Professor in the School of Engineering, Emeritus
BioProfessor Bradford Parkinson was the Chief Architect for GPS, and led the original advocacy for the system in 1973 as an Air Force Colonel. Gaining approval, he became the first Director of the GPS Joint Program Office and led the original development of spacecraft, Master Control Station and 8 types of User Equipment. He continued leadership of the Program through the extensive test validation Program, including being the Launch Commander for the first GPS satellite launches. This original deployment of GPS demonstrated comfortable margins against all PNT (Positioning, Navigation, and Timing) requirements.
Earlier in his career, he was a key developer of a modernized AC-130 Gunship, introduction of which included 160 hours of combat missions. He was an instructor at the USAF Test Pilot School. In addition he led the Department of Astronautics and Computer Science at the US Air Force Academy. He retired from the US Air Force as a Colonel.
He was appointed a Professor at Stanford University in 1984, after six years of experience in industry. At Stanford University, he led the development of many innovative applications of GPS, including:
1.Commercial aircraft (Boeing 737) blind landing using GPS alone,
2.Fully automatic GPS control of Farm Tractors on a rough field to an accuracy of 2 inches,
3.Pioneering the augmentation to GPS (WAAS) that allows any user to achieve accuracies of 2 feet and very high levels of integrity assurance.
He has been the CEO of two companies, and serves on many boards. He is the editor/author of the AIAA Award winning 2 Volumes: “GPS Theory and Applications” and is author or coauthor of over 80 technical papers.
Among his many awards is the Draper Prize of the National Academy of Engineering, considered by some to be the “Engineering Nobel”.
Masters Student in Aeronautics and Astronautics, admitted Autumn 2022
BioAkshata Patil is a master's student in the department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Florida Tech in 2020. Her interests revolve around enhancing the reliability and security of perception and navigation systems used in unmanned aerial vehicles and autonomous driving vehicles.
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering and of Computer Science
BioDr. Marco Pavone is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, where he directs the Autonomous Systems Laboratory and the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford. He is also a Distinguished Research Scientist at NVIDIA where he leads autonomous vehicle research. Before joining Stanford, he was a Research Technologist within the Robotics Section at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He received a Ph.D. degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010. His main research interests are in the development of methodologies for the analysis, design, and control of autonomous systems, with an emphasis on self-driving cars, autonomous aerospace vehicles, and future mobility systems. He is a recipient of a number of awards, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barack Obama, an Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, a National Science Foundation Early Career (CAREER) Award, a NASA Early Career Faculty Award, and an Early-Career Spotlight Award from the Robotics Science and Systems Foundation. He was identified by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) as one of America's 20 most highly promising investigators under the age of 40. His work has been recognized with best paper nominations or awards at a number of venues, including the European Conference on Computer Vision, the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, the European Control Conference, the IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, the Field and Service Robotics Conference, the Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, and the INFORMS Annual Meeting.
BioR. Eric Phelts is a research engineer in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. His research involves signal monitoring techniques and analysis for SBAS, GBAS, and ARAIM.