Daniel Scheeres is a University of Colorado Distinguished Professor and the A. Richard Seebass Chair in Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Following a five year tenure at the Jet Propulsion Lab's Navigation Systems Section and professorships at Iowa State University and the University of Michigan, Scheeres joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences in 2008. He has since become a vital member of the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research community, heading the Celestial and Spaceflight Mechanics Laboratory. Scheeres has graduated 37 PhD students in his career who now hold positions in academia, U.S. and international research labs, and industry, 18 of these while at CU.
Scheeres’ research spans the topics of astrodynamics and spacecraft navigation to planetary science and celestial mechanics and has published extensively in these fields. One primary focus of Scheeres’ research is studying the mechanics of small bodies (such as moons and asteroids) with applications to planetary and asteroid missions. A separate focus of Scheeres' research is in the field of Space Situational Awareness, where his lab studies the dynamics and estimation of orbital debris and active satellites. Most recently, Scheeres is serving as the Radio Science Lead and Co-Investigator for NASA’s OSIRIS REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission.
Scheeres is a Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a Fellow in the American Astronautical Society, and president of the Celestial Mechanics Institute. He is a member of the American Astronomical Society's Divisions on Planetary Science and Dynamical Astronomy, the International Astronomical Union and the International Astronautical Federation. He was awarded the Dirk Brouwer Award from the American Astronautical Society in 2013 and gave the John Breakwell Lecture at the 2011 International Astronautical Congress. Asteroid 8887 is named “Scheeres” in recognition of his contributions to the scientific understanding of the dynamical environment about asteroids. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2017.