Dr. David Spencer is a Professor of the Practice in the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is Co-Director for the Space System Design Laboratory, a multi-disciplinary research and educational organization dedicated to the design, development and operations of advanced space systems and technologies.
At Georgia Tech, Dr. Spencer has an active research program in small satellite applications, and he is currently the Principal Investigator for the Prox-1 mission and Program Manager for The Planetary Society’s LightSail mission. He is conducting theoretical research on automated trajectory control for proximity operations.
Dr. Spencer joined the Georgia Tech faculty in 2008 after seventeen years with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. While at the JPL, he was the Deputy Project Manager for the Phoenix Mars Lander, Mission Manager for the Deep Impact and Mars Odyssey projects, and mission designer for Mars Pathfinder and TOPEX/Poseidon.
Dr. Spencer graduated from Purdue University in 1991 with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, and he received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2015. He is the author of numerous technical publications in the fields of planetary mission design, space flight operations, and system engineering.