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  • Space Security & Safety Program Lead

Moriba Jah

Dr. Moriba Jah is the Director of the Advanced Sciences and Technology Research in Astronautics (ASTRIA) program, and Associate Professor of Aerospace engineering and Engineering Mechanics in the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he trains a new generation of astrodynamicists and space traffic leaders through research and education at the intersection of engineering, policy, and commercialization. He has authored more than 100 scientific articles, columns, and book chapters, including a handful of op-eds. A highly sought public speaker, he has given more than 50 lectures, speeches, and invited talks in the last few years, such as testimony for hearings of U.S. Senate committees, keynotes for business meetings, plenary lectures for scientific conferences, lecture series for NATO’s Science and Technology Organization, TEDx talks, and the Air Force Research Laboratory’s INSPIRE series. Dr. Jah has served as a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) and is the chair of the NATO SCI-279-TG activity on defining a Common NATO Space Domain Awareness Operating Picture.

As a professor, Dr. Jah has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at UT Austin related to space and astronautical sciences. Dr. Jah's research focuses on the convergence of policy, technology, and security related to space traffic management and space situational awareness. Government agencies such as the Department of Defense, Air Force Research Laboratory, and others as well as non-governmental organizations and private industry have featured Dr. Jah's research in their own decision-making processes. His expertise, opinions, and research have been published, cited or featured in many media outlets, including the Space News, Wired, ROOM, NatGeo, NPR, BBC, ABC, and others.

Prior to being at UT Austin, Dr. Jah was the Director of the University of Arizona’s Space Object Behavioral Sciences with applications to Space Domain Awareness, Space Protection, Space Traffic Monitoring, and Space Debris research to name a few. Preceding that, Dr. Jah was the lead for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics (ASTRIA) and a Principal Investigator for Detect/Track/Id/Characterize Program at AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate. He received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott, Arizona, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado at Boulder specializing in astrodynamics and statistical orbit determination. Before joining AFRL in 2007, he was a spacecraft navigator for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, serving on Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express (joint mission with ESA), Mars Exploration Rovers, Hayabusa (joint mission with JAXA), and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Dr. Jah founded the American Astronautical Society’s (AAS) Space Surveillance Technical Committee and is the Chair of the AIAA Astrodynamics Technical Committee. He is a member of the Astrodynamics Technical Committee of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and a permanent member of the Space Debris Technical Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Dr. Jah is a Fellow of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), the AFRL, the AAS and the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), as well as an AIAA Associate Fellow, IEEE Senior Member, Associate Editor of Elsevier’s Advances in Space Research Journal.