School of Engineering
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Vance D. and Arlene C. Coffman ProfessorOn Partial Leave from 10/01/2020 To 06/30/2021
BioProf. Alonso is the founder and director of the Aerospace Design Laboratory (ADL) where he specializes in the development of high-fidelity computational design methodologies to enable the creation of realizable and efficient aerospace systems. Prof. Alonso’s research involves a large number of different manned and unmanned applications including transonic, supersonic, and hypersonic aircraft, helicopters, turbomachinery, and launch and re-entry vehicles. He is the author of over 200 technical publications on the topics of computational aircraft and spacecraft design, multi-disciplinary optimization, fundamental numerical methods, and high-performance parallel computing. Prof. Alonso is keenly interested in the development of an advanced curriculum for the training of future engineers and scientists and has participated actively in course-development activities in both the Aeronautics & Astronautics Department (particularly in the development of coursework for aircraft design, sustainable aviation, and UAS design and operation) and for the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering (ICME) at Stanford University. He was a member of the team that currently holds the world speed record for human powered vehicles over water. A student team led by Prof. Alonso also holds the altitude record for an unmanned electric vehicle under 5 lbs of mass.
Sr Research Engineer
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research focuses on the design of navigation integrity algorithms for safety critical applications (like air navigation and autonomous driving). I am interested in both the design of practical algorithms that provide the required safety margins, and in the theoretical limits on the performance of the integrity monitoring algorithms.
Edward C. Wells Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering
BioProfessor Cantwell's research interests are in the area of turbulent flow. Recent work has centered in three areas: the direct numerical simulation of turbulent shear flows, theoretical studies of the fine-scale structure of turbulence, and experimental measurements of turbulent structure in flames. Experimental studies include the development of particle-tracking methods for measuring velocity fields in unsteady flames and variable density jets. Research in turbulence simulation includes the development of spectral methods for simulating vortex rings, the development of topological methods for interpreting complex fields of data, and simulations of high Reynolds number compressible and incompressible wakes. Theoretical studies include predictions of the asymptotic behavior of drifting vortex pairs and vortex rings and use of group theoretical methods to study the nonlinear dynamics of turbulent fine-scale motions. Current projects include studies of fast-burning fuels for hybrid propulsion and decomposition of nitrous oxide for space propulsion.
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
BioProfessor Chang's primary research interest is in the areas of multi-functional materials and intelligent structures with particular emphases on structural health monitoring, intelligent self-sensing diagnostics, and multifunctional energy storage composites for transportation vehicles as well as safety-critical assets and medical devices. His specialties include embedded sensors and stretchable sensor networks with built-in self-diagnostics, integrated diagnostics and prognostics, damage tolerance and failure analysis for composite materials, and advanced multi-physics computational methods for multi-functional structures. Most of his work involves system integration and multi-disciplinary engineering in structural mechanics, electrical engineering, signal processing, and multi-scale fabrication of materials. His recent research topics include: Multifunctional energy storage composites, Integrated health management for aircraft structures, bio-inspired intelligent sensory materials for fly-by-feel autonomous vehicles, active sensing diagnostics for composite structures, self-diagnostics for high-temperature materials, etc.
Professor (Research) of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus
BioProfessor Christensen's research is concerned with the mechanics of materials. The behavior of polymers and polymeric fiber composites are areas of specialization. Of particular interest is the field of micro-mechanics that focuses on materials' functionality at intermediate-length scales between atomic and the usual macro scale. Applicable techniques involve the methods of homogenization for all types of composite materials. The intended outcomes of his research are useful means of characterizing the yielding, damage accumulation, and failure behavior of modern materials. A related website has been developed to provide critical evaluations for the mathematical failure criteria used with the various classes of engineering materials. Most of these materials types are employed in aerospace structures and products.
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
BioProf. Close's research involves space weather detection and modeling for improved spacecraft designs, and advanced signal processing and electromagnetic wave interactions with plasma for ground-to-satellite communication systems. These topics fall under the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) umbrella that include environmental remote sensing using satellite systems and ground-based radar. Her current efforts are the MEDUSSA (Meteoroid, Energetics, and Debris Understanding for Space Situational Awareness) program, which uses dust accelerators to understand the effects of hypervelocity particle impacts on spacecraft along with Particle-In-Cell simulations, and using ground-based radars to characterize the space debris and meteoroid population remotely. She also has active programs in hypersonic plasmas associated with re-entry vehicles.
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
BioSimone D’Amico is Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Politecnico di Milano (2003) and the Ph.D. degree from Delft University of Technology (2010). From 2003 to 2014, he was research scientist and team leader at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). There, he gave key contributions to the design, development, and operations of spacecraft formation-flying and rendezvous missions such as GRACE (United States/Germany), TanDEM-X (Germany), PRISMA (Sweden/Germany/France), and PROBA-3 (ESA). From 2014 to 2020, he was Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He is the Founding director of the Space Rendezvous Laboratory (SLAB), and Satellite Advisor of the Student Space Initiative (SSSI), Stanford’s largest undergraduate organization. He has over 200 scientific publications and 3000 google scholar’s citations, including conference proceedings, peer-reviewed journal articles, and book chapters. D'Amico's research aims at enabling future miniature distributed space systems for unprecedented science and exploration. His efforts lie at the intersection of advanced astrodynamics, GN&C, and space system engineering to meet the tight requirements posed by these novel space architectures. The most recent mission concepts developed by Dr. D'Amico are a miniaturized distributed occulter/telescope (mDOT) system for direct imaging of exozodiacal dust and exoplanets and the Autonomous Nanosatellite Swarming (ANS) mission for characterization of small celestial bodies. D’Amico’s research is supported by NASA, NSF, AFRL, AFOSR, KACST, and Industry. He is Chairman of the NASA's Starshade Science and Technology Working Group (TSWG). He is member of the advisory board of space startup companies and VC edge funds. He is member of the Space-Flight Mechanics Technical Committee of the AAS, Associate Fellow of AIAA, Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics and the IEEE Transactions of Aerospace and Electronic Systems. He is Fellow of the NAE’s US FOE Symposium. Dr. D’Amico was recipient of the Leonardo 500 Award by the Leonardo Da Vinci Society and ISSNAF (2019), the Stanford’s Introductory Seminar Excellence Award (2019 and 2020), the FAI/NAA‘s Group Diploma of Honor (2018), the Exemplary System Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Award by the International Honor Society for Systems Engineering OAA (2016), the DLR’s Sabbatical/Forschungssemester in honor of scientific achievements (2012), the DLR’s Wissenschaft Preis in honor of scientific achievements (2006), and the NASA’s Group Achievement Award for the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE (2004).
Edward C. Wells Professor of Engineering, Emeritus
BioProfessor DeBra collaborates with Stanford physicists on three projects: Gravity Probe-B (GP-B), Space Test of the Equivalence Principle (STEP), and the vibration isolation of a gravity-wave antenna (LIGO). These involve satellite control of attitude and translation and the development of instruments of extraordinary precision and accuracy. In GP-B gyroscopes were successfully orbited in 2004. They have been compared to stars to an accuracy approaching a nanoradian. In STEP the orbital performance promises improvements of a million in testing the equivalence of inertial and gravitational mass. (It is currently in a hiatus of funding.) Professor DeBra's interests in precision engineering extend to manufacturing where his students' work developing "quiet hydraulics" in the 1990s has more recently been applied to the vibration isolation of the optical systems of LIGO.
Vivian Church Hoff Professor of Aircraft Structures, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Army High Performance Computing Research Center
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsCharbel Farhat and his Research Group (FRG) develop mathematical models, advanced computational algorithms, and high-performance software for the design and analysis of complex systems in aerospace, marine, mechanical, and naval engineering. They contribute major advances to Simulation-Based Engineering Science. Current engineering foci in research are on the nonlinear aeroelasticity and flight dynamics of Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) with flexible flapping wings and N+3 aircraft with High Aspect Ratio (HAR) wings, layout optimization and additive manufacturing of wing structures, supersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerators for Mars landing, and the reliable automated carrier landing via model predictive control. Current theoretical and computational emphases in research are on high-performance, multi-scale modeling for the high-fidelity analysis of multi-physics problems, high-order embedded boundary methods, uncertainty quantification, probabilistic machine learning, and efficient projection-based model order reduction as well as other forms of physics-based machine learning for time-critical applications such as design, active control, and digital twins.
Grace X. Gao
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
BioGrace Xingxin Gao is an assistant professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. She leads the Navigation and Autonomous Vehicles Laboratory (NAV Lab). Before joining Stanford University, she was faculty at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She obtained her Ph.D. degree at Stanford University. Her research is on robust and secure perception, localization and navigation with applications to manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, autonomous driving cars, robotics and internet of things.
Prof. Gao has won a number of awards, including the NSF CAREER Award, the Institute of Navigation Early Achievement Award and the RTCA William E. Jackson Award. She received the Distinguished Promotion Award from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has won Best Paper/Presentation of the Session Awards 14 times at ION GNSS+ conferences. She received the Dean's Award for Excellence in Research from the College of Engineering, University of Illinois. For her teaching, Prof. Gao has been on the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students at University of Illinois multiple times. She won the College of Engineering Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, the Engineering Council Award for Excellence in Advising, and AIAA Illinois Chapter’s Teacher of the Year.
Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
BioKen Hara is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He received a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Plasma Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan, and B.S. and M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the University of Tokyo. He was a Visiting Research Physicist at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory as a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellow. Prior to joining Stanford, he spent three years as a faculty member in Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. Professor Hara’s research interests include electric propulsion, low temperature plasmas, plasma physics (plasma-wall interactions, plasma-wave interactions), and computational fluid and plasma dynamics. He is a recipient of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Graduate Scholarship Award, the Air Force Young Investigator Program Award, and the Department of Energy Early Career Award.
Professor (Research) of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Emeritus
BioProfessor Jameson's research focuses on the numerical solution of partial differential equations with applications to subsonic, transonic, and supersonic flow past complex configurations, as well as aerodynamic shape optimization.
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Computer Science
BioMykel Kochenderfer is Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. Prior to joining the faculty, he was at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he worked on airspace modeling and aircraft collision avoidance, with his early work leading to the establishment of the ACAS X program. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh and B.S. and M.S. degrees in computer science from Stanford University. Prof. Kochenderfer is the director of the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory (SISL), conducting research on advanced algorithms and analytical methods for the design of robust decision making systems. Of particular interest are systems for air traffic control, unmanned aircraft, and other aerospace applications where decisions must be made in uncertain, dynamic environments while maintaining safety and efficiency. Research at SISL focuses on efficient computational methods for deriving optimal decision strategies from high-dimensional, probabilistic problem representations. He is the author of "Decision Making under Uncertainty: Theory and Application" and "Algorithms for Optimization", both from MIT Press. He is a third generation pilot.
Thomas V. Jones Professor in the School of Engineering
BioProfessor Kroo's research involves work in three general areas: multidisciplinary optimization and aircraft synthesis, unconventional aircraft, and low-speed aerodynamics. Current research in the field of aircraft synthesis, sponsored by NASA and industry, includes the development of a new computational architecture for aircraft design, and its integration with numerical optimization. Studies of unconventional configurations employ rapid turnaround analysis methods in the design of efficient subsonic and supersonic commercial aircraft. Recent research has included investigation of configurations such as joined wings, oblique wings, and tailless aircraft. Nonlinear low-speed aerodynamics studies have focused on vortex wake roll-up, refined computation of induced drag, the design of wing tips, and the aerodynamics of maneuvering aircraft.
BioNicolas Lee is currently a Research Engineer in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, working primarily on asteroid resource characterization and CubeSat technologies. Previously, Nicolas was a Ph.D. student at Stanford studying meteoroid impact effects on spacecraft, and a W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies postdoctoral scholar in aerospace at Caltech, researching technologies for robotically assembled space telecopes, membrane structures for space solar power applications, and small satellite high voltage electronics.
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Mechanical Engineering
BioProfessor Lele's research combines numerical simulations with modeling to study fundamental unsteady flow phemonema, turbulence, flow instabilities, and flow-generated sound. Recent projects include shock-turbulent boundary layer interactions, supersonic jet noise, wind turbine aeroacoustics, wind farm modeling, aircraft contrails, multi-material mixing and multi-phase flows involving cavitation. He is also interested in developing high-fidelity computational methods for engineering applications.
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”.
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering and of Computer ScienceOn Partial Leave from 02/22/2021 To 06/30/2021
BioDr. Marco Pavone is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, where he is the Director of the Autonomous Systems Laboratory and Co-Director of the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford. 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 several awards, including a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Barack Obama, an ONR Young Investigator Award, an NSF CAREER Award, and a NASA Early Career Faculty Award. 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 the International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, at the Field and Service Robotics Conference, at the Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, and at NASA symposia.
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.
J David Powell
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus
1960 - B.S. Mechanical Engineering, M.I.T.
1966 - M.S. Aeronautics & Astronautics, Stanford
1970 - Ph.D. Aeronautics & Astronautics, Stanford
1960-1961 - Engine Design and Testing Engineer at Outboard Marine Corp.
1961-1967 – Engineer at Lockheed in the field of Aerospace Guidance and Control
1967-1968 – Engineer at Analytical Mechanics Associates
1968-1970 – Engineer, Systems Control, Inc. Parameter ID of aircraft models from flight data, automatic generation of approach paths for Air Traffic Control. Attended Stanford University specializing in control systems.
1971 – 1998 – Member of the Stanford Faculty in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department. His research has included spacecraft pointing, space tether dynamics and control, internal combustion engine control, the design of aerospace digital flight control systems, GPS-based attitude determination augmented with inertial sensors, and the use of GPS for air and land vehicle surveillance and navigation. He taught courses in aerospace control including radio and inertial navigation, optimization and digital implementations and is a coauthor of two of the leading control textbooks. He is also an author or coauthor on over 100 papers.
1998 – present – Emeritus faculty carrying out research in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford Univ. Recent focus of research is the use of GPS-based attitude determination augmented with inertial sensors, applications of the FAA’s WAAS for enhanced pilot displays, flight inspection of aircraft landing systems, and the use of WAAS and new displays to enable closer spacing of parallel runways.
AIAA (Fellow), ASME (Fellow), SAE, IEEE, ION
CONSULTANT TO: (over past several years)
Engine Control and Monitoring
Pratt and Whitney (Technical Advisory Committee)
OTHER RECENT ACTIVITIES
Co-Founder, CEO, and Director of GyroSat Corp. 1999 – 2000
Director of Sequoia Instruments, 2001 – 2005
Aircraft owner and licensed instrument pilot
National Research Council Panel member for the review of NASA airspace activities, 2003
Board of Directors, Mechanics Bank, Richmond, CA., 2003 – 2015
Board of Directors, ExactBid, Inc. 2014-present.
Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics
BioProfessor Rock's research interests include the application of advanced control and modeling techniques for robotic and vehicle systems (aerospace and underwater). He directs the Aerospace Robotics Laboratory in which students are involved in experimental programs designed to extend the state-of-the-art in robotic control. Areas of emphasis include planning and navigation techniques (GPS and vision-based) for autonomous vehicles; aerodynamic modeling and control for aggressive flight systems; underwater remotely-operated vehicle control; precision end-point control of manipulators in the presence of flexibility and uncertainty; and cooperative control of multiple manipulators and multiple robots. Professor Rock teaches several courses in dynamics and control.
Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering
BioDebbie G. Senesky is an Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department and by courtesy, the Electrical Engineering Department. In addition, she is the Principal Investigator of the EXtreme Environment Microsystems Laboratory (XLab). Her research interests include the development of nanomaterials for extreme harsh environments, high-temperature electronics, and robust instrumentation for Venus exploration. In the past, she has held positions at GE Sensing (formerly known as NovaSensor), GE Global Research Center, and Hewlett Packard. She received the B.S. degree (2001) in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California. She received the M.S. degree (2004) and Ph.D. degree (2007) in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Senesky recently chaired the 2018 Women in Aerospace Symposium (WIA2018) at Stanford University. She has served on the technical program committee of the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEEE IEDM), International Conference on Solid-State Sensors, Actuators, and Microsystems (Transducers), and International Symposium on Sensor Science (I3S). She is currently the co-editor of three technical journals: IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems, Sensors, and Micromachines. In addition, she currently serves on the board of directors of the non-profit organization Scientific Adventures for Girls. In recognition of her research, she received the Emerging Leader Abie Award from AnitaB.org in 2018, Early Faculty Career Award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 2012, Gabilan Faculty Fellowship Award in 2012, and Sloan Ph.D. Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2004.
Prof. Senesky's career path and research has been featured on the People Behind the Science podcast, the Future of Everything radio show, Space.com, and NPR's Tell Me More program. More information about Prof. Senesky can be found at https://xlab.stanford.edu and on Instagram (@astrodebs).
Professor (Research) of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Emeritus
BioProfessor Tsai's research interest is in the development of design methodology of composite materials and structures. As an emerging technology, composite materials offer unique performances for structures that combine light weight with durability. Keys to the successful utilization of composite materials are predictability in performance and cost effective design of anisotropic, laminated structures. Current emphasis is placed on the understanding of failure modes, and computer simulation for design and cost estimation.
Professor (Research) of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHigh integrity satellite navigation for guiding aircraft, including satellite based augmentation systems (SBAS) and advanced receiver autonomous integrity monitoring (ARAIM).