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Associate Professor and Founding Director of SLAB

Simone D'Amico

Founding Director of the Stanford Space Rendezvous Lab, W. M. Keck Faculty Scholar in the School of Engineering.

Simone D’Amico is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, and a W. M. Keck Faculty Scholar in the School of Engineering. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from Politecnico di Milano (2003) and the Ph.D. degree from Delft University of Technology (2010).

In his career, from 2003 to 2014, Simone was a research scientist and team leader at the German Aerospace Center (DLR). There, he gave key contributions to the design, development, and operations of spacecraft formation-flying and rendezvous missions such as GRACE (United States/Germany), TanDEM-X (Germany), PRISMA (Sweden/Germany/France), and PROBA-3 (ESA). From 2014 to 2020, he was an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University. He is the Founding director of the Space Rendezvous Laboratory (SLAB), and Satellite Advisor of the Student Space Initiative (SSSI), Stanford’s largest undergraduate organization. He has over 200 scientific publications and 4,500 google scholar’s citations, including conference proceedings, peer-reviewed journal articles, and book chapters.

Professor D'Amico's research aims at enabling future miniature distributed space systems for unprecedented science and exploration. His efforts lie at the intersection of advanced astrodynamics, GN&C, and space system engineering to meet the tight requirements posed by these novel space architectures. The most recent mission concepts developed by Professr D'Amico are a miniaturized distributed occulter/telescope (mDOT) system for direct imaging of exozodiacal dust and exoplanets and the Autonomous Nanosatellite Swarming (ANS) mission for characterization of small celestial bodies. D’Amico’s research is supported by NASA, NSF, AFRL, AFOSR, KACST, and Industry.

Professor D'Amico is the Chairman of the NASA's Starshade Science and Technology Working Group (TSWG). He is a member of the advisory board of several space startup companies and venture capital groups. He is a member of the Space-Flight Mechanics Technical Committee of the American Astronautical Society (AAS), Associate Fellow of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics and the IEEE Transactions of Aerospace and Electronic Systems. He is a Fellow of the NAE’s US FOE Symposium.

Professor D’Amico is a recipient of the Leonardo 500 Award by the Leonardo Da Vinci Society and ISSNAF (2019), the Stanford’s Introductory Seminar Excellence Award (2019 and 2020), the FAI/NAA‘s Group Diploma of Honor (2018), the Exemplary System Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Award by the International Honor Society for Systems Engineering OAA (2016), the DLR’s Sabbatical/Forschungssemester in honor of scientific achievements (2012), the DLR’s Wissenschaft Preis in honor of scientific achievements (2006), and the NASA’s Group Achievement Award for the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, GRACE (2004).