Welcome to my WWW page! I'm no expert in HTML, but if you've been reading my Usenet posts (What is Usenet?), my MAD Scientist respones, or one of my e-mails, this should give you an idea of who I am.
In September of 1995, I completed my PhD at Georgia Tech's School of Aerospace Engineering, where I spent much time with the AE Controls Group. My thesis title was "Optimal Control and Guidance for Low- and Medium- Thrust Orbit Transfers." My thesis advisor was Dr. C.-H. Chuang.
Now, I am an aerospace engineer at JPL (where is JPL?), on the Cassini mission to Saturn. (To the right of this paragraph you can see an animated GIF of the spacecraft. It's about three stories tall and, at launch, weighed about 12,220 pounds.)
Specifically, I am in the Flight Path Control Group (formerly maneuver analysis) of the Navigation and Flight Mechanics Section (312). What is Navigation? Interested in rocket science? Take the CNN quiz!
As usual, JPL has put together some awesome pictures and animations together to give you an idea of why the Cassini project is so exciting. We finished building the spacecraft (Hi Res MPEG Movie, 4MB) at the end of October 1996. The spacecraft was succesfully launched on October 15, 1997, and is sailing on for Saturn! Looking for the latest Cassini stuff or mission status (2)? Well, you'll only find technical stuff in my Cassini-related web pages.
I was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina [B/W Map]. [Color Map] Unfortunately, there is no space industry in my home state, nor are there any schools with a strong aerospace engineering program. I decided to pursue my space interests at Georgia Tech. The research assistantship that supported my efforts was itself supported by a contract with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. My project monitor was Dr. John Hanson. I've since published a few papers related to my dissertation. I am working to publish more, especially concerning the work I do now.
My wife, Kathy, is from Tampa, Florida [B/W Map]. She gave me boundless support during my doctorate work ñ now that she's started her Master's program, I'm striving to live up to that example. Her profession is sign language interpreting for the deaf. (check out Gallaudet and The Interpreter's Network) She is a member of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) ñ she currently works for and studies at California State University at Northridge (CSUN).
We are living near JPL in lovely Arcadia, California [B/W Map]. It's not far from Los Angeles.
Outside of academics at GT, I helped found the Georgia Tech Chapter of SEDS (Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, firstname.lastname@example.org) In 1992-93, we entered a JPL-sponsored competition to design, build, and test a prototype spacecraft adapter for the then-named Pluto Fast Flyby mission. I am quite happy to say that we won and that our adapter is here at JPL, stashed away in storage somewhere).
The GT chapter ventured on and began the GTHYRM (Georgia Tech Hybrid Rocket Motor) project. On November 27, 1995 I was informed that a successful test firing was completed!
I was in the Toastmasters club at GT, and now I am a member of the JPL/Caltech Club (#3292, Area B1, Foundersí District). I am a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Astronautical Society (AAS) I am a member, too, of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society.
Tony Taylor also works at JPL in the Navigation Section, but he works in the Orbit Determination Group; he is also science fiction author. He spends most of his time now on the Champollion mission.
Greg Reich is a friend of mine since undergrad days and recently married to Teri Piatt. He is currently (October '97) working on his PhD at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Alan Darcy (of Land O Lakes[slow link - graphics], Florida) doesn't have a web page, yet, but he has a Web prescence! You can find a bio of him and some sound clips at USA Horn. He ran in the Gasparilla 5K. Alan is an accomplished musician; you can hear him (*) via RealAudio.
Miguel Simon was my room-mate for a year and shared many classes with me at Georgia Tech. Now, he's a researcher at the University of Oklahoma, working for their aerospace department.
Jeff and Diane Ketts also live in Southern California. Jeff is an old friend of Kathy's from her FSU Marching Chiefs days, incredible to think they ended up living so close! If you have any interest in cars, you simply must check out his 1973 Mustang.
Some of my cousins have made a family web-page.
X.500 @ Ames, JPL, Univ Texas, Brunel
Last updated on February 2, 1999
Is anybody linking to my page yet?