On March 23rd, 2018, the Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering (MMAE) Department at Armour College of Engineering presented departmental Distinguished Alumni Award to Dr. John Brophy for his outstanding achievements in the field of mechanical engineering. Dr. Brophy is a Fellow at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is featured in the Spring issue of IIT Magazine in the article "Star Power." As part of his visit to IIT, Dr. Brophy presented a seminar "Ion Propulsion's Present and Future Impact on Space Exploration" in front of an audience of MMAE faculty members and students. MMAE Department Chair, Dr. Sumanta Acharya, and faculty congratulated the recipient for the honor. For the complete list of previous recipients of MMAE Distinguished Alumni Award please refer to the following page.
Dr. John Brophy received a B.S. in Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1978 and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Colorado State University in 1980 and 1984, respectively. In 1991 Dr. Brophy led a U.S. team in the evaluation of Hall-effect ion thruster technology in the Soviet Union, leading to the wide-spread adoption of this technology in the West. In 1992 he initiated the NSTAR Project that resulted in the successful demonstration of ion propulsion on NASA's Deep Space 1. Dr. Brophy was responsible for the delivery of the Ion Propulsion System for NASA's Dawn mission launched in 2007, culminating in the first-ever use of ion propulsion on a NASA deep-space science mission. In 2011 he co-led the Asteroid Retrieval Mission study at Caltech's Keck Institute for Space Studies that resulted in NASA's Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission and consequently became the mission's chief engineer. Dr. Brophy is a NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Fellow and an AIAA Fellow. He was awarded the Ernst Stuhlinger Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Electric Propulsion in 2015 and the AIAA Wyld Propulsion award in 2017.