Topic: Our Generation’s Space Race
Location: Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn
Introduction / Moderator: Nicholas Jones / Katie O’Toole
Dr. Robert D. Braun serves as the David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He leads an active research and educational program focused on the design of advanced flight systems and technologies for planetary exploration.He is also the Founding Director of the Georgia Tech Center for Space Technology and Research, an interdisciplinary research organization which organizes, integrates and facilitates the growth of Georgia Tech’s space science and space technology research activities.He has previously served as a leader and senior manager for several engineering organizations at NASA. In 2010 and 2011, he served as the first NASA Chief Technologist in more than a decade. In this capacity, he was the senior Agency executive for technology and innovation policy and programs and was responsible for creating the NASA Space Technology programs. As NASA Chief Technologist, he worked to move NASA’s organizational culture towards one that values technology development and high-risk, high-reward research, directing and managing the activities of approximately 40 technical staff at NASA HQ, 960 full-time equivalent civil servants across the Agency, and over 2500 personnel in industry and academia. From 1989 to 2003, he served on the technical staff of the NASA Langley Research Center. In 2012, Dr. Braun co-founded Terminal Velocity Aerospace, a small-business focused on the development of a suite of re-entry devices to improve orbital debris hazard prediction and promote space utilization. Dr. Braun received a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State in 1987, M.S. in Astronautics from the George Washington University in 1989, and Ph.D. in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University in 1996. He is the principle author or co-author of over 250 technical publications in the fields of atmospheric flight dynamics, planetary exploration, multidisciplinary design optimization, and systems engineering. He lives on a small farm in Newnan, Georgia with his wife Karen and is the proud father of Zack, Allie and Jessica Braun.