Rob TachauIn April 2007 Robert (Rob) Tachau was selected to be Manager of the On-Orbit Analysis and Support Department in the Monitoring Systems and Technology Center at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Department Staff are responsible for analyzing satellite sensor data and identifying anomalous phenomenology, as well as sensor system performance characteristics. The Department operates Sandia’s Laser Applications (LAZAP) Facility and a sensor system lab.

After completing his BS in Civil Engineering at New Mexico State University in 1977, Rob spent six years in the US Air Force as the pilot of an RF-4C Phantom II tactical reconnaissance aircraft. He left the military and returned to NMSU in January 1984 to complete his Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering with a thesis titled “A Study of New Mexico Bridge Deck Protective Systems.”

Upon graduation, Rob joined the Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratories’ Rocket Sled Test Facilities where he was responsible for the design, development and execution of high-velocity, reverse ballistic, rocket sled tests. Additionally, Rob was a Test Director for the Sandia F-4 Aircraft Impact Test in 1988. Later in 1988, he entered the Graduate Engineering School of the University of Texas at Austin on Sandia’s Doctoral Study Program. Rob’s dissertation, “An Investigation of Gouge Initiation in High-Velocity Sliding Contact,” is a significant contribution to the rail gouging phenomena body-of-knowledge. After completing his PhD in Engineering Mechanics, in August 1991, Rob became the Technical Supervisor of Sandia’s Rocket and Dynamic Test Team. In 1995, after an assignment as a Systems Analyst in the Arms Control Studies Department, Rob was promoted to Manager of the Explosives Applications Department. The department operates Sandia’s Explosives Applications Laboratory for research in explosive phenomenon and the development of explosives systems and hardware. The Department has other development laboratories in Albuquerque and facilities at the Nevada Test Site. In 2005 Rob was selected to manage Sandia’s Thermal, Fluid, and Aero Experimental Sciences Department. The Department engages in a broad spectrum of experimental engineering research and the development of advanced experimental diagnostics.

Rob is a Sandia Corporate Recruiter of PhDs in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of New Mexico, a Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.