Three ASE/EM Faculty Members Promoted to Professor

August 30, 2021

Three faculty members in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics have been promoted to the rank of professor, effective Sept. 1, 2021 – Srinivas Bettadpur, Todd Humphreys and Ryan Russell. All have made significant impacts on the department's teaching and research efforts.

photo of srinivas bettadpurSrinivas Bettadpur

Srinivas Bettadpur’s research expertise lies in space geodesy, for the study of the dynamics of the Earth system on global and regional scales, using satellite gravity and precision position determination from space. He has been recognized for his leadership role on the high-profile GRACE and GRACE-FO satellite missions, both of which have provided important data on the rate of melting ice, rising ocean levels, depleted aquifers and more. Bettadpur was also instrumental in the establishing a UT-NASA partnership for a next-generation geodetic observatory at UT’s McDonald Observatory in West Texas, which will enable a generational shift in the metrology and characterization for natural hazards. He was named the director of the Center for Space Research (CSR) in 2018, where he also served as a research professor. Bettadpur earned his Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. He holds an appointment Department of Geological Sciences in the Jackson School of Geosciences and is an affiliate of the UT Applied Research Laboratory. Learn more about Bettadpur’s work: https://www.csr.utexas.edu/faculty-and-staff/bettadpur/

photo of todd humphreysTodd Humphreys

Todd Humphreys specializes in the application of optimal detection and estimation techniques to problems in satellite navigation, autonomous systems and signal processing. He is world-renowned for pioneering research on the security of GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite Systems) and has exposed the vulnerability of GNSS multiple times. His team was the first to successfully spoof a civilian drone in 2012 and the following year, took on an even bigger challenge, spoofing an $80 million superyacht at sea. Humphreys is also credited for bringing precise GPS to the mass market and was the first to demonstrate centimeter-accurate RTK (real-time kinematic) positioning using a smartphone antenna. He has testified three times before the U.S. Congress and is a recipient of numerous awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the NSF Career Award, the Institute of Navigation Thurlow Award and the UT Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award. Humphreys directs the Radionavigation Laboratory at UT Austin and is the incoming director of the Wireless Networking and Communications Group. Learn more about Humprheys’ work: https://radionavlab.ae.utexas.edu/

photo of ryan russellRyan P. Russell

Ryan P. Russell’s research focuses on solving orbital mechanics problems as they are related to space utilization and exploration. His research areas of interest include space flight mechanics, numerical optimization, trajectory design and spacecraft dynamics. Projects are funded from a variety of sponsors, including NASA, Federally Funded R&D Centers, the Department of Defense and a handful of industry partners. Russell began his professional career at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a member of the Guidance, Navigation and Control section where he worked as a mission designer and navigation analyst for a variety of space flight projects. He served on the Georgia Institute of Technology faculty from 2007-20011 before joining the UT ASE/EM faculty in 2012. He has authored or co-authored over 200 technical publications and is a recipient of several NASA, JPL, AIAA, AAS and other awards. Learn more about Russell’s work in the Space Trajectory Computation Lab: http://sites.utexas.edu/russell/