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Dan Hastings

Cecil and Ida Green Education Professor and Head, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics


Research Interests:

Space propulsion, space policy, space systems, spacecraft manufacturing processes, space system architecting

Prof. Daniel E. Hastings received his bachelor’s degree from Oxford University in 1976, and MS and PhD degrees in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 1978 and 1980, respectively. Hastings first joined the faculty at MIT in 1985. He became director of the MIT Technology and Policy Program in 2000 and was named director of the Engineering Systems Division in 2004. He served as dean for undergraduate education from 2006 to 2013, and from 2014 to 2018 he was director of the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART).

His research specializations include synergetic interactions between space systems and the space environment, space propulsion, space policy, space systems, spacecraft manufacturing processes, space system architecting. Prof. Hastings has taught courses and seminars in plasma physics, rocket propulsion, advanced space power and propulsion systems, aerospace policy, technology and policy, engineering education, and space systems engineering.

Hastings has also had an active career of service outside MIT. His many external appointments
include serving as chief scientist from 1997 to 1999 for the U.S. Air Force, where he led influential studies of Air Force investments in space and of preparations for a 21st-century
science and technology workforce. He was also the chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory
Board from 2002 to 2005; from 2002 to 2008, he was a member of the National Science Board.

He served on the NASA Advisory Council. He has also served on numerous NASEM committees. He has served on the Aerospace Board of Trustees for over 18 years. He is on the Blue Origin Advisory Board and the Board of the Universities Space Research Association

An Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Hastings was also awarded the Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award from the AIAA in 2002. He is a fellow (academician) of the International Astronautical Federation and the International Council in System Engineering. The U.S Air Force granted him its Exceptional Service Award in 2008, and in both 1997 and 1999 gave him the Air Force Distinguished Civilian Award. He received the National Reconnaissance Office Distinguished Civilian Award in 2003. He was also the recipient of MIT’s Gordon Billard Award for “special service of outstanding merit performed for the Institute” in 2013. In 2017 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Research Clusters:


Google Scholar:


Air Transportation, Networks and Systems

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