Senior Advisory Council

People: Senior Advisory Council

Jonathan Brooks

Greg Matloff


Dr Gregory L. Matloff is emeritus associate and adjunct associate professor of physics at New York City College of Technology (NYCCT), has coordinated the astronomy program at that institution, has consulted for the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, is a Fellow of the British interplanetary Society, is a Hayden Associate at the American Museum of Natural History and is a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. His pioneering research in solar-sail technology has been utilized by NASA in plans for extra-solar probes and in consideration of technologies to divert Earth-threatening asteroids. He served as guest professor at the University of Siena, Italy, in 1994, has chaired many technical sessions and was honored by NYCCT as Scholar-on-Campus during the 2008-2009 academic year.

In 1998, he was a winner of a SETI competition sponsored by the National Academy of Discovery Science. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 research papers and nine books, which have been cited about 400 times. One of his books, “The Starflight Handbook” (Wiley, NY, 1989), was co-authored with MIT science-writer Dr. Eugene Mallove and helped establish interstellar-propulsion studies as a sub-division of applied physics. Another interstellar book he published was ‘Deep Space Probes, 2000, 2005).

More recent books (“Living Off the Land in Space,” Springer, NY, 2007 and “Paradise Regained”, Springer, NY, 2009) co-authored with his artist wife C Bangs and NASA manager Les Johnson, have dealt with human space habitation and utilization. His 2008 book with Les Johnson and Italian researcher Dr. Giovanni Vulpetti (“Solar Sails: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel”, Springer, NY) received an excellent review in “Nature.”Most recently he has published an artist’s book with C Bangs, “Biosphere Extensions: Solar System Resources for the Earth”

Chris Welch

SAC deputy CHAIR

Dr Chris Welch is a Resident Faculty member of the International Space University (ISU), Strasbourg, France and a Visiting Lecturer in Spacecraft Propulsion at Cranfield University, UK. Prior to his move to ISU, Dr Welch was Principal Lecturer in Astronautics and Space Systems at Kingston University where he held both Business and a Teaching Fellowships and was the University’s 2010 Teacher of the Year.

Dr Welch is a winner of the Sir Arthur Clarke Award for Space Education and also is Chair of the Space Education Trust and YuriGagarin50, a Director of the World Space Week Association and a trustee of the SpaceLink Learning Foundation and the Arts Catalyst and a Council Member of the British Interplanetary Society. Dr Welch is a frequent commentator on space and astronautics and has made more than 200 television and radio broadcasts.

Among Dr Welch’s other achievements are that he was one of the final twenty candidates for the 1991 UK-USSR Juno mission to the Mir space station and has written what he believes to be the first ever paper on extraterrestrial garden design. Dr Welch is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, also serving as a member of the BIS Council. He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a member of the Institute of Physics and of the Institute of Engineering and Technology. He is also a Chartered Physicist and a Chartered Scientist.

Freeman Dyson

SAC Member

Freeman Dyson is a distinguished physicist. He was born in the UK and later become a naturalised American, living in Princeton, New Jersey for over fifty years. Dyson is a member of the Board of Sponsors for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Dyson is well known for having demonstrating in 1949 the equivalence of the formulations of quantum electrodynamics proposed separately by Richard Feynman, Julian Schwinger and Sin-Itiro Tomonaga. He is also well known as one of the active participants of the Project Orion nuclear pulse study which took place between 1958 to 1965. He also pioneered the concepts now known as ‘Dyson spheres’. Dyson is a long-time member of the JASON defence advisory Group. During his career he has been given numerous awards including the Lorentz Medal (1966), Max Planck Medal (1969), the Enrico Fermi Award (1993) and the Harvey Prize (1977). He was also awarded the Templeton Prize (2000).

Giovanni Vulpetti


Giovanni Vulpetti has got his Master in Nuclear Physics (1969), and Ph.D. in Plasma Physics (1973). Subsequently, he specialized in Astrodynamics. He wrote many tens of scientific papers about interstellar flight, astrodynamics & propulsion concepts, in particular matter-antimatter annihilation propulsion. In 1979, he joined Telespazio SpA (Rome, Italy). He prepared an extended comprehensive overview of interstellar flight for the JBIS September-1999 issue. Since 1995, he has been attending the IAA committee for Lunar Base & Mars exploration. He is interested in fast solar sailing. In the 1990′s, he found out quite new types of sailcraft trajectories and published/presented his theory on Acta Astronautica, IAA symposia, international JPL workshop, and STAIF. In Spring 1997, he was consultant at ESA/ESTEC about the solar-sail Daedalus mission concept.

In 2001, he was consultant at NASA/MSFC for studying the NASA Interstellar Probe. In 1979-2004, he contributed to 11 Italian and European space programs. He has implemented large computer codes for mission analysis & trajectory optimization via rockets and/or solar-sails. In Nineties, he attended the IAA committee for small satellites. He fostered a design that brought to Telespazio micro satellite named TEMISAT (August 1993). In December 2006, he joined Galileian Plus s.r.l. (Rome, Italy) for advanced projects. In 2006-2007, he attended the new program of the Italian Space Agency Vision for next lunar exploration.

To date, he published 115 scientific papers and technical reports. With Dr. L. Johnson (NASA/MSFC) and Dr. G. L. Matloff (N.Y. University), he published a comprehensive Springer-book on solar sailing (issued in August 2008). From Dec-2006 to Nov-2007, he has been chief scientist at Galileian Plus (Rome – Italy). He has been COSPAR-Associate in 2002-2007. In 2009, he acted as guest editor of Acta Astronautica for Aosta-2009 symposium’s special issue. He just finished the book “Fast Solar Sailing, Astrodynamics of Special Sailcraft Trajectories”, Springer. He is Full Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (Section-2) since 1994. Also, he is member of SPIE and the Planetary Society.

Ian Crawford


Dr Ian Crawford is Reader in Planetary Science and Astrobiology at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Birkbeck College, University of London. His career in science began with astronomy where he conducted studies of the interstellar medium and also the circumstellar disks that may be around planetary systems. His research interests include lunar exploration and he was a co-investigator on the D-CIXS instrument which orbited the Moon on ESA’s SMART1 spacecraft between 2004 and 2006. He also chaired the Science Team for the Chandrayaan-1 X-Ray spectrometer that flew on India’s Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission in 2008-2009.

He has an interest in astrobiology which is the study of the astronomical and planetary context of the origin and evolution of life. This includes studying extreme environments such as in Iceland. He has a passion for space exploration and in 2007 was a member of the UK Space Exploration Working Group, which recommended increased UK involvement in global space exploration. He teaches many subjects including foundations of astronomy, geology of the solar system, introduction to astrobiology and advanced topics in planetary science.

He is a member of the Association for Astronomy Education, Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, past President of the Society for Popular Astronomy and he is currently Geophysical Secretary of the UK Royal Astronomical Society. He has published nearly 100 technical papers relating to space science.

Claudio Maccone


Dr. Claudio Maccone is an Italian space scientist with a PhD from the Department of Mathematics at King’s College, London. He worked for the Space Systems Group of Aeritalia working on the design of artificial satellites. He has published over 70 scientific technical papers on space science, many in Acta Astronautica and the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society. He has written several books, including ‘Telecommunications, KLT and Relativity (1994) and ‘The Sun as a Gravitational Lens: Proposed Space Missions’ (1998). His most recent book was ‘Deep Space Flight and Communications’ (2009). In 2000 he was elected co-Vice Chair of the SETI Committee of the International Academy of Astronautics and since 2010 has served as the Technical Director of Scientific Space Missions.

In 2001 the asteroid 11264 was named Claudiomaccone in his honour by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). He was also awarded the Giordano Bruno award by the SETI league in 2002 for his efforts to establish a radio observatory on the far side of the Moon.

Roman Kezerashvili


Professor Roman Kezerashvili works at the Physical and Biological sciences department of the New York City College of Technology., the senior level college of Technology of the City University of New York. A love for physics runs in Professor Roman Kezerashvili’s family. Both of his brothers became nuclear physicists, as did he. Two of his cousins and one of his sons also are physicists. Kezerashvili, who was born in Georgia, a part of the former Soviet Union, is an internationally recognized physicist who earned two doctorates (in nuclear physics and theoretical physics), did research at the Institute of Physics (Tbilisi, Georgia) and taught at Tbilisi State University before emigrating to the U.S. in 1995. He came to City Tech’s Department of Physical & Biological Sciences on a part-time basis that same year and became a full-time member of faculty two years later. He was named Scholar on Campus in spring 2003. In his Scholar on Campus Lecture, “Neutron Matters? Is It a Matter? What’s the Matter?” Kezerashvili described neutron matter as “the least understood of the five states of matter, which also include solids, liquids, gases and plasma. This mysterious extreme state of matter results from the catastrophic implosion-explosion of stars much more massive that our Sun.” Starting with the existence of a single neutron, one of the tiniest objects in our cosmos, and progressing to two-, three- and four-neutron systems and then to stars, the largest objects in the Universe, Kezerashvili led his audience through a history of the cosmos starting after the Big Bang. He also discussed different scenarios for its end.

Author/co-author of more than 85 research papers, Kezerashvili has made valuable contributions to the understanding of a number of challenging issues in the field of nuclear physics, including nuclear matter and high energy nuclear reactions on light atomic nuclei. He was a visiting professor at Pisa University and collaborated on research with the Nationale Instituto di Fisica Nucleare in Italy. Recognized as an innovative educator for implementing computer-based laboratory experiments in general physics and integrating computer-based education into City Tech’s physics curriculum, he is also author of three textbooks, Experiments in Physics (three editions), Experiments in College Physics and Problems in Physics and Mathematics.”As a college professor, you are always young because you are always around young people,” he said. “I enjoy seeing my students ‘get’ physics and fall in love with it. For me, physics makes all my weekdays feel like weekends. My whole life revolves around physics.” “Physics is the basis of all new technologies,” Kezerashvili added. “Achievements in physics in the 20th century, especially quantum optics and atomic, nuclear and solid state physics, changed the face of our civilization for the better. In fall 2004, Professor Kezerashvili chaired a committee set up to organize the New York Section of the American Physical Society (APS) Conference, “Physics of the Microworld: From Quarks to Nanostructures,” which City Tech hosted and which attracted some 200 participants from 58 universities, research labs, and other public and private sector institutions. It was the largest gathering of scientific minds in the College’s 58-year history. Previous hosts include such prestigious institutions such as Cornell, the State University of New York, Polytechnic University and the Rochester Institute of Technology.

In 2005, Kezerashvili took first place in the American Association of Physics Teachers Apparatus Competition held at the University of Utah for his development of a new use for the laser pointer. He also was appointed that year by City University of New York Chancellor Matthew Goldstein to chair the physics panel of the University Committee for Research Awards.

David Baker


Dr. David Baker has a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Doctorate. He is a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, and is currently the Editor of its magazine publication, Spaceflight. David was involved professionally in the US space program for more than 25 years. Beginning with NASA in the early days of the two-man Gemini programme in the mid-1960s through the development of the Apollo H-series mission planning and the Space Shuttle in the 1970s and the 1980s. He worked on key aspects of the vehicle’s mission capabilities which included helping to integrate the Shuttle into the expanding commercialization of space. During the 1980s he worked around the world guiding satellite manufacturers and launch vehicle providers and providing banks and the space insurance industry in London and in New York on commercial space projects.

From 1984 onwards he visited the USSR many times to discuss international co-operation with the Soviet government. From the early 1990s David has worked as an aerospace consultant, as Editor of Jane’s Spaceflight Director for seven years. Over the last 40 years he has authored more than 80 books on science and aerospace subjects for publishers in the UK, Europe and the USA. He was elected an Academician of the International Academy of Astronautics and is the recipient of the 1998 Rolls-Royce Award. In 2008 he was presented with the Arthur C Clarke Space Award and now works as an author, consultant and adviser.

Some of his distinguished writing includes Jane’s Space Directory (2001-2002), The History of Manned Space Flight (2001), which was one of the best overviews of America’s manned space programs up to Skylab. In recent times he authored the “NASA Space Shuttle Mannual: An Insight Into the Design, Construction and Operation of the NASA Space Shuttle”, which was one of the Haynes Owner’s Workshop mannuals.


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