Conway to Deliver Breakwell Lecture
AE Prof. Bruce A. Conway has been invited to deliver the prestigious John V. Breakwell Memorial Lecture at the Astrodynamics Symposium of the 61st International Astronautical Congress this fall.
He will discuss three basic approaches, the first of which was developed beginning in the 1960’s. The newest of the three methods, using variations of “evolutionary algorithms,” began to be used in earnest for space trajectories in the last 10 years. Conway believes this option will be the best alternative for finding optimal spacecraft trajectories because of its ease of use, speed, and superiority in finding the “globally optimal” trajectory. Conway and his former and current graduate students, Bradley Wall, Christian Chilan and Jacob Englander have been conducting research based on this method.
Conway’s research interests primarily are orbital mechanics, optimal control, and improved methods for the numerical solution of problems in optimization. A member of AE’s faculty the past 29 years, Conway recently was honored with the 2009 Dirk Brouwer Award of the American Astronautical Society’s (AAS) Space Flight Mechanics Committee.
He also has been frequently recognized for his teaching skills. Conway consistently is included on the campus’ List of Teachers Ranked Excellent by Their Students. Eight times over his career AE students chose him as the “Teacher of the Year.” Conway has won every College of Engineering teaching award, as well as the 2007 Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Conway earned a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1973 from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. He earned a master’s in mechanics in 1974 from the University of Minnesota, and a PhD in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in 1981.