Professor Emeritus • Research Professor

Office Location: AERO 471

Focus Area

Remote Sensing, Earth, & Space Sciences


Ph.D., Applied Physics, Harvard University, 1975
M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois, 1970
B.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Rhode Island, 1968

Professional Experience

2017 - Present, Professor Emeritus & Research Professor, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado
2008 - 2012, Chair, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado
1993 - 2017, Professor, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado
1992 - 1993, Visiting Scientist, High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder
1987 - 1994, Professor, Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering, Boston University

Awards (selected)

Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics Distinguished Science Award (2018)
International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy Shen Kuo Medal (2017)
European Geosciences Union Julius Bartels Medal (2016)
Coupling, Energetics and Dynamics of Atmospheric Regions Prize Lecture (2014)
Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) (2012)
AIAA Robert M. Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award (2009)
Fellow, American Geophysical Union (2008)
Nicolet Lecturer, Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (2004)
Air Force Meritorious Service Medal (1991)
Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Department of Physics, University of Adelaide, South Australia (1986)
Air Force Commendation Medal (1974)

Research Interests

Professor Forbes' research interests include the upper atmosphere environments of Earth, Mars, and other planets; coupling of these environments to lower altitudes and to solar variability; geomagnetic storm effects on satellite drag variability; the vertical propagation of tides and planetary waves in planetary atmospheres, and their electrodynamic and chemical effects; utilization of accelerometer, satellite drag, and satellite remote sensing data to elucidate atmospheric variability, and to test, validate and develop upper atmosphere models. He also conducts numerical simulations of the above phenomena.