Raymond J. Sedwick, PhD

Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering
Keystone Professor, A. James Clark School of Engineering
Director, Aerospace Honors Program

Dr. Raymond J. Sedwick is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory at the University of Maryland where he has been since Fall of 2007. He is also recognized as a Keystone Associate Professor within the A. James Clark School of Engineering and is the Director of the Aerospace Engineering Honors Program.  Dr. Sedwick’s current research includes orbital debris remediation, RF plasma generation for space propulsion, plasma assisted combustion and catalyzed decomposition, ion plume material impact damage, and novel fusion confinement for space and terrestrial power applications. His research interests include a variety of in-space power generation and propulsion technologies, with particular interest in nuclear systems and the applications of plasmas.  Dr. Sedwick was the inaugural recipient of the Bepi Colombo Prize, as well as the recipient of an NSF CAREER award on the development of compact helicon sources. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA, an Associate Editor of the AIAA Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, and serves as Vice Chair of the AIAA Nuclear and Future Flight Technical Committee.  Dr. Sedwick received a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Penn State University in 1992, and an MS and PhD from the MIT Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1994 and 1997.


  • Ph.D, MIT, Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1997
  • S.M., MIT, Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1994
  • B.S., Penn State University, Aerospace Engineering, 1992


  • Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, 2010 – present
  • Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland, 2007 – 2010
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2007 – 2010
  • Principal Research Scientist, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2002 – 2007
  • Associate Director, MIT Space Systems Laboratory, 2002 – 2007
  • Research Scientist, MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1999 – 2002
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT Space Systems Laboratory, 1997 – 1999

Service and Awards

  • A. James Clark College of Engineering Faculty Service Award (2016)
  • Director, UMD Center for Orbital Debris Education and Research (2014 – present)
  • AIAA Region I Deputy Director of Education (2013 – 2016)
  • IEEE Senior Member, 2014
  • AIAA Nuclear and Future Flight TC Vice Chair (2014-2016) and Chair (2016-2018)
  • UMD AIAA Student Chapter Broken Propeller Award (2014-2015)
  • Associate Editor, AIAA J. of Spacecraft and Rockets (2012 – present)
  • Director, UMD Aerospace Engineering Honors Program (2012 – present)
  • Keystone Professor, A. James Clark School of Engineering (2013-present)
  • AIAA Nuclear and Future Flight Technical Committee (2009-present)
  • UMD AIAA Student Chapter Faculty Advisor (2009 – 2014)
  • Aerospace Engineering Graduate Committee (2009 – present)
  • Journal Reviewer: J. of the Astronautical Sciences, IEEE Trans. on Plasma Science, AIAA JGCD, AIAA JSR, AIAA JPP, Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, J. of Optimization Theory and Applications (2000 – present)
  • Proposal Reviewer: National Science Foundation (CBET, Graduate Fellows), American Society of Engineering Education (NRL Summer Faculty, NDSEG, NASA Graduate Fellows), Department of Energy (Plasma Science) (2008 – present)
  • NSF CAREER Award (2009 – 2014)
  • AIAA Associate Fellow, 2009
  • UMD ADVANCE Program Leadership Fellow (2012 – 2013)
  • UMD AIAA Student Chapter Best Professor Award (2012 – 2013, 2013-2014)
  • Participant in the 11th Annual National Academies NAKFI Conference (2013)
  • Member of the NRC Review Panel on NASA Technology Roadmaps (2011)
  • UMD AIAA Student Chapter Best Mentor Award (2009 – 2011)
  • Bepi Colombo Prize (2006)
  • NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts Fellow (2004 – 2005)
  • NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Summer Faculty Fellow (2000)