Dr. Robert D. Braun, Director for Planetary Science
Bobby Braun joined the JPL leadership team in January 2020 as Director for Planetary Science. In this capacity, Dr. Braun has leadership and management responsibility for the portfolio of planetary science formulation, technology, implementation and operations activities at the Lab.
Dr. Braun has more than 30 years’ experience as a space systems engineer, technologist, and organizational leader. He is a recognized authority in the development of entry, descent and landing systems, and has contributed to the formulation, development, and operation of multiple space flight missions.
Previously, Dr. Braun served as Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, a faculty member of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a member of the technical staff of the NASA Langley Research Center.
In 2010-2011, Dr. Braun served as the first NASA Chief Technologist in more than a decade. In this capacity, he was responsible for development of the Agency’s technology and innovation policy and programs, and led the implementation of a broad spectrum of NASA technology programs designed to build the capabilities required for our nation’s future space missions. This activity spanned industry, academia, and all 10 NASA Centers, and fostered partnerships between NASA and other government agencies.
Dr. Braun is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the AIAA and AAS, and the author or co-author of over 300 technical publications. He received a Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University, an M.S. in astronautics from the George Washington University, and a B.S. in aerospace engineering from the Pennsylvania State University.