CU Boulder professor elected to National Academy of Engineering

Published: Feb. 8, 2017

The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected Distinguished Professor Daniel J. Scheeres, an aerospace engineer at the University of Colorado Boulder, to its 2017 class.

Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer, and Scheeres joins seven other current College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty members in earning this distinction.

Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, which might include the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional engineering fields or developing innovative approaches to engineering education.

The NAE elected 84 new members and 22 foreign associates to its 2017 class, NAE President C.D. (Dan) Mote Jr. announced Tuesday. This brings the total U.S. membership to 2,281 and the number of foreign associates to 249.

Scheeres was elected to the National Academy for his pioneering work on the motion of bodies in strongly perturbed environments such as near asteroids and comets. In addition to Scheeres, Adjoint Professor Philippe Spalart, a Boeing Technical Fellow, also was elected to the 2017 class.

Scheeres is a University of Colorado Distinguished Professor and the A. Richard Seebass Chair in the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences. He has nearly 30 years’ experience in planetary science, space navigation, orbit determination and control. Scheeres is an international leader in astrodynamics and celestial mechanics and globally recognized for his work in small body (asteroids, moons and comets) missions. He is currently the radio science team lead for NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, which will collect samples from an asteroid and return them to Earth. He is a fellow of both the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Astronautical Society and has an asteroid named in his honor.

Since joining the University of Colorado Boulder in 2008, Scheeres has served as faculty director of the Smead Scholars program, significantly expanding the global reach and national reputation of the aerospace engineering sciences department.

Prior to joining CU Boulder, Scheeres served on the faculty at Iowa State University and the University of Michigan, served as a member of the technical staff of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science in Japan.