by Nicole Capozziello
Published August 8, 2022
John Crassidis, a SUNY Distinguished Professor and Samuel P. Capen Chair Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has been named the second Moog Professor of Innovation.
The professorship, which was established by Moog in 2019, is a three-year appointment of a highly regarded faculty member who demonstrates a strong track record of research, teaching and industry collaboration in areas of mutual interest to Moog and UB. Crassidis succeeds Kemper Lewis, now the dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
“This endowed position has allowed UB and Moog to establish transformational research and educational partnerships that have elevated the excellence of both organizations,” says Lewis. “John is well positioned to expand the partnership and impact even further given his expertise in areas core to Moog’s current and future success.”
SEAS and Moog’s research collaborations have thus far yielded ground-breaking developments in additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence and agricultural autonomy. This collaboration has also strengthened pathways for students to gain hands-on experience in the industry through internships, co-ops and fellowships, in addition to possible eventual employment at Moog.
As a world-renowned expert in space situational awareness, Crassidis’s groundbreaking research has improved the detection and tracking of space debris. This work has contributed to astronaut safety during space missions and provided new research directions for the U.S. Department of Defense, potentially providing even greater protection of our country’s assets in space.
Throughout his career, Crassidis has been dedicated to uplifting students and providing them with rich experiences that they can take with them into their careers. He is the founder and director of the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory (UBNL) which since 2011 has provided opportunities for hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students to work with the Air Force Research Lab and NASA to build small satellites from concept to launch. Crassidis is also the director of the Center for Multisource Information Fusion Center—the only dedicated fusion center in the U.S.—and the director of the Center for Space Cyber Strategy and Cyber Security.
Crassidis is also a dedicated mentor who has advised 22 PhD students and 52 masters students, and mentored 40 undergraduate projects.
His many recognitions at UB include the prestigious honor and title as SUNY Distinguished Professor (2019); Collegiate Science Technology Program (CSTEP) Research Mentor Award (2017); UB President Emeritus and Mrs. Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring, (2017); the Richard T. Sarkin Award for Excellence in Teaching (2014); and the Tau Beta Pi New York Nu Chapter Professor of the Year (2012).
He has been elected Fellow of the American Astronautical Society (AAS), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Among his many international recognitions, he was recently given the AAS Dirk Brouwer Award for his advancements to space flight mechanics and astrodynamics.
Crassidis is a three-time UB alumnus; he received his BS in 1989, his MS in 1991, and his PhD in 1993 in mechanical engineering. He went on to work at Ford Motor Company and NASA Goddard and then began his academic career at Catholic University and then Texas A&M before returning to UB in 2001.