Published February 1, 2022
John Crassidis, Samuel P. Capen Chair Professor and SUNY Distinguished Professor in the UB Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is being honored by the American Astronautical Society (AAS) Spaceflight Mechanics Committee for his advancements to space flight mechanics and astrodynamics.
The AAS Dirk Brouwer Award honors significant technical contributions to field, and pays tribute to astronomer Dirk Brouwer’s role in celestial mechanics and widespread influence on workers in space flight and astrodynamics.
Crassidis, who was named a Fellow of AAS in 2014, is specifically being recognized for his “fundamental and applied contributions to spacecraft attitude dynamics, sensor modeling, and optimal estimation.”
“John is one of the most accomplished members of our faculty, and the Brouwer Award is AAS’ highest honor for technical contributions, providing well-deserved recognition of the impactful work he has done in guidance, spacecraft dynamics and controls," said Francine Battaglia, professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. "His achievement will serve to elevate the reputation of our department and university, and I am delighted he has been chosen for this honor."
Crassidis is a world-renowned expert in space situational awareness, space navigation and space station safety. In particular, his research has improved the detection and tracking of space debris, helped keep astronauts safe during space missions and provided new research directions for the U.S. Department of Defense that have the potential to provide even greater protection of our country’s assets in space.
At UB, he is 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. He is also the founder and director of the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory, where each year over a hundred students design, build and test satellites for use by the Air Force and NASA.
A faculty member at UB since 2001, Crassidis’ past honors include: the 2017 UB President Emeritus and Mrs. Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring; the 2016 J. Leland Atwood Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA); UB’s 2014 Richard T. Sarkin Award for Excellence in Teaching; the 2012 AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award; a 2006 AIAA Sustained Service Award; and the Society of Automotive Engineers’ 2006 Ralph T. Teetor Educational Award. He was named a Fellow of AIAA in 2015 and a Fellow of the American Society of Engineers in 2020.
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.
Crassidis will be formally recognized at the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference in Charlotte, N.C., in August later this year, where he has also been invited to deliver a keynote lecture entitled “A Historical Perspective on Spacecraft Attitude Determination.”