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John L. Junkins, PhD


University Distinguished Professor
Department of Aerospace Engineering
Robert H. Goddard Astronautics Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2019

John L. Junkins, University Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering and holder of the Royce E. Wisenbaker Chair in Innovation in Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering, is the Founding Director of the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. Junkins led the effort to launch the Institute in 2011. The Institute was officially renamed the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study in 2017 after long-time A&M benefactor Jon C. Hagler endowed the Institute with a $20 million gift.

Junkins began his career with NASA at age 19 during the Apollo program. He then time-shared graduate study at UCLA with employment at McDonnell-Douglas, where he supported launches of satellites aboard Delta rockets. Following previous appointments at the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, he joined Texas A&M in 1985. His expertise spans basic and applied research, including space flight experiments. Junkins recently graduated his 54th PhD student and has 3 generations of descendant PhD offspring. Currently he directs 7 doctoral candidates and 2 post-doctoral researchers. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and has won more than a dozen international honors. Junkins is the author of ~400 papers and 8 books. His Analytical Mechanics of Aerospace Systems won the 2014 AIAA Summerfield Best Book Award. His work has attracted ~14,000 Google Scholar citations.  His international honors include the IAA Malina Medal and he is a Fellow of the International Astronautical Academy.

Junkins has served as principal investigator on ~80 funded research projects with external support totaling ~$50 million from government and industry. Junkins’ results have been transitioned to over a dozen space missions. He time shares significant University leadership and national service.  Junkins continues his role as a professor and his role as Founding Director of the Hagler Institute. The Hagler Institute has attracted 52 eminent scholars to Texas A&M during the first 6 years of operation.