maruthi akella portrait in labProfessor Maruthi Akella of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics in the Cockrell School of Engineering has been selected as the new editor-in-chief (EIC) of the Journal of the Astronautical Sciences (JAS).

The JAS, founded in 1954 by the American Astronautical Society (AAS), is published by Springer Nature. An archival publication, the journal is devoted to the science and technology of astronautics with the goal of presenting significant new research findings, important insights, or state of the art surveys in all areas of astrodynamics, atmospheric flight mechanics, celestial mechanics, navigation and guidance, and space-related sciences. Past EICs for the JAS include distinguished astronautics researchers such as Professor Kyle T. Alfriend of Texas A&M University and Professor Kathleen C. Howell of Purdue University – the outgoing EIC for the journal.

Before being selected as editor-in-chief for the JAS, Akella served as an associate editor for the journal since 2013. He is also a fellow of the AAS.

“Serving as the new editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Astronautical Sciences is going to be a huge responsibility but also a rewarding experience,” said Akella. “Not only is it a wonderful way to serve our astronautics community, but it should bring more visibility to our department as well.”

Akella’s research interests lie in autonomy, learning theory, and control, with applications to space systems, hypersonics, and swarming robotics. His current research includes investigative and experimental validation of autonomous space vehicles and mobile robots; developing flow-control systems for high-speed and hypersonic vehicles; navigating miniature robots inside GPS-denied environments; uncertainty quantification; and cooperative control and collaborative sensing problems in swarm robots.

Akella is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2013 Mechanics and Control of Flight Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the 2015 Judith A. Resnik Space Award from the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society. He is also an associate fellow of the AIAA and an IEEE senior member, and has published more than 150 research papers in peer-reviewed archival journals and conference proceedings.

Learn more about Akella’s research on the Controls Group for Distributed and Uncertain Systems website.