Dr. Greg Spanjers, a member of the U.S. Air Force’s cadre of scientific and technical senior executives, is the Chief Scientist of the Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) Directorate, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He is responsible for providing science and technology advice and counsel for supporting Air Force development planning efforts and conducting experimentation campaigns that will result in planning choices for senior Air Force-level resource decisions.
Dr. Spanjers research experience spans more than 33 years and includes work in academia and private industry developing advanced plasma confinement, plasma diagnostics and radiation source technology. Since 1995, he has served in various science and technology positions in Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Early in his Air Force career, he served in the Electric Propulsion Group at AFRL’s Propulsion Directorate, Edwards AFB, California, as a principal scientist, research group leader, technical adviser, deputy branch chief and acting branch chief. In 2003, he became Program Manager for the Air Force’s PowerSail Program at AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate, Kirtland AFB, New Mexico. Since then he developed and led a series of research and development spacecraft programs including Demonstration and Science Experiment (DSX), Calibrated On-Orbit Objects Program (COOP) and the Third Generation Infrared Surveillance System (3GIRS and CHIRP). He was promoted to Senior Executive Service in 2008, and selected as the Air Force’s Senior Scientist for Space Experiments at the Space Vehicles Directorate. He became Chief Scientist for the Directorate in 2012, and served in that capacity until assuming his current position in 2016.
Dr. Spanjers holds nine patents, has authored more than 30 journal articles, 70 contributed papers and two book chapters. He is a Fellow of the Air Force Research Laboratory and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics (AIAA), where he also serves as Associate Editor for the AIAA’s Journal of Propulsion and Power.
1986 Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
1990 Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle
1992 Doctor of Philosophy in Plasma Physics, University of Washington, Seattle
1. 1984 - 1986, teaching assistant, Physics Department, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
2. 1986 - 1992, student, Plasma Physics Group, Nuclear Engineering Department, University of Washington, Seattle (1991 - 1992, faculty research assistant, Aeronautics and Astronautics Department, University of Washington, Seattle)
3. 1992 - 1995, research scientist, HY-Tech Research Corp., Radford, Va.
4. 1995 - 1997, principal scientist, Electric Propulsion Group, Spacecraft Propulsion Branch, Propulsion Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards AFB, Calif.
5. 1997 - 2002, group leader, technical adviser, deputy branch chief and acting branch chief, Electric Propulsion Group, Spacecraft Propulsion Branch, Propulsion Directorate, AFRL, Edwards AFB, Calif.
6. 2002 -2003, Program Manager for PowerSail, Spacecraft Components Division, Space Vehicles Directorate, AFRL, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
7. 2004 - 2006, Program Manager, Demonstration and Science Experiment and Calibrated On-Orbit Objects Program, Integrated Experiments Division, Space Vehicles Directorate, AFRL, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
8. 2006 - 2008, Program Manager, Risk Reduction-Alternative Infrared Satellite System and Third Generation Infrared Surveillance System, Integrated Experiments Division, Space Vehicles Directorate, AFRL, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
9. 2008 - 2012, Senior Scientist, Space Experiments, Space Vehicles Directorate, AFRL, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
10. 2010 – 2016, AFRL Capability Lead, Space Superiority SCF, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
11. 2015 – 2016, AFRL Capability Lead, Nuclear Deterrence Operation SCF, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
12. 2012 – 2016, Chief Scientist, Space Vehicles Directorate, AFRL, Kirtland AFB, N.M.
13. 2016 – Present, Chief Scientist, Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Directorate, AFMC, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
AWARDS AND HONORS
1997 Phillips Laboratory Team Excellence Award
1999 Scientist of the Year, Propulsion Directorate, AFRL
2000 Scientist of the Year runner-up, Propulsion Directorate, AFRL
2006 Dan Wilhelm Director's Cup Award, AFRL
2006 Team Annual Award, Developmental Planning Directorate, AF Space and Missile Systems Center
2006 Air Force Award for Research Management
2006 Arthur S. Fleming Award in Applied Science and Mathematics
2007 Commanders Cup, Special Recognition, AFRL
2007 Agile Acquisition Team Annual Award, Air Force Space Command
2008 Team Annual Award, Developmental Planning Directorate, AF Space and Missile Systems Center
2013 Aviation Week for Program Management Excellence
2015 Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Stellar Awards
2016 OSD/AT&L Award for Excellence
2016 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service
1998 – present, Associate Editor, AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power, Reston, Va.
2012 – present, Adjunct Professor, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
2012 – 2016, Physics Instructor, Central New Mexico College, Albuquerque, N.M.
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS AND ASSOCIATIONS
Associate Fellow, AIAA
(Current as of June 2017)