Prof. Robert "Bobby" Braun has been selected by California Institute of Technology ("CalTech) for its prestigious Moore Distinguished Scholar Program.
An NAE member and the GT-AE David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology, Braun will begin his residency at the Pasadena campus in January of 2015, returning to Georgia Tech in the fall.
Established in 2000, the Gordon and Betty Moore Distinguished Scholar program invites select technologists, scholars, and artists to pursue their research and other scholarly activities at CalTech for three to nine months. Relieved of teaching duties during his tenure at CalTech, Braun looks forward to diving more deeply into research and writing projects.
"I plan to pursue fundamental research in the areas of hypersonics and entry, descent and landing technology. I am looking forward to collaborating with a number of colleagues at Caltech in these areas," he said.
"In addition, I have been working on a textbook on these topics for some time and hope to advance the maturity of this book considerably. I also plan to spend a day a week working with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on a number of future planetary exploration mission concepts."
While he is gone, Braun will continue working with as many as 23 GT-AE undergraduate and graduate students, three or four of whom will be working on the final stages of their doctorates this spring.
"This is a great opportunity for me to focus and deepen the impact of my research group's contributions to a number of important societal challenges," said Braun.
"Through the Moore Distinguished Scholar program, I hope to advance several game-changing research and technology needs in hypersonics and planetary exploration. I also hope to learn about the Caltech culture of innovation and research excellence, bringing some of these ideas and strategies back to Georgia Tech when I return."
Robert Braun's research at Georgia Tech has focused on design of advanced flight systems and technologies for planetary exploration. His research integrates aspects of conceptual design and analysis, optimization theory, technology development, modeling and simulation, and experimental validation. He significantly advanced the areas of entry, descent, and landing technology and has contributed to the design, development, test, and operation of both robotic and human space-flight systems. He has also been active in the development of theory and methods for multidisciplinary design, systems engineering, and optimization.