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Dr. Robert F. Hodson

NASA Technical Fellow for Avionics

Dr. Hodson is currently the NASA Technical Fellow for Avionics and is currently resident at Langley Research Center (LaRC). In this position he is engaged in assessing the Agency’s most challenging avionics-related technical issues.  Additionally he leads the Avionics Technical Discipline Team consisting of many technical experts from NASA, other government agencies, industry, and academia in the diverse areas of avionics technology.

Dr. Hodson has nearly 35 years of experience as an engineer, of which over 25 have been since completion of his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Florida State University, where his research focused on real-time expert systems computer architecture.  Dr. Hodson has authored or co-authored numerous publications including technical papers, articles, and one book.  Many of the papers deal with engineering and research issues related to space electronics design, computing architectures, and software systems.

Since joining NASA in 2002, Dr. Hodson has served in several capacities.  Most recently as the Chief Engineer for NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) Game Changing Development (GCD) Program.  Prior that he served as the GCD Deputy Program Manager and the Deputy Chief Engineer for LaRC.  He was the Chief Engineer for the Electronics Systems Branch responsible for technical oversight and review of multiple new technology and flight projects.  He was a core member of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center’s (NESC’s) Super Problem Resolution Team for Power and Avionics where he was part of the Hubble Space Telescope health assessment team and other assessment activities.  He served as the Deputy Chairman of the Avionics Steering Committee and has been an advocate for avionics technology, leading the committee’s avionics road-mapping efforts.  Dr. Hodson was the principal investigator on the Reconfigurable Scalable Computing for Space project, which is an international collaboration to enable advanced processing capabilities for future missions.  He also served as the command and data handling subsystem lead on the Crew Excursion Vehicle Smart Buyer team.  Dr. Hodson was the Constellation Program (CxP) Avionics Discipline Lead and worked with multiple NASA Centers and organizations to help lead the program through multiple successful milestone reviews.  In this role he also led multiple risk assessments and technical studies for the program including leading the CxP Common Avionics initiative and the Heavy Lift Vehicle Computing Architecture study.

Prior to working at NASA, Dr. Hodson was an associate professor of computer engineering and Director of the Computer Engineering program at Christopher Newport University (CNU) where he worked for 13 years.  While working at CNU, he performed research with NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy.  Additionally, Dr. Hodson worked with a software startup company, JDH Technologies.  As a Senior Software Scientist for JDH Technologies, his work included development of Internet-based collaboration software.  Dr. Hodson also worked as an engineer with the General Electric Company for 5 years.  His work at GE included hardware and real-time software design for the F-16 flight simulator and Digital Landmass RADAR simulator.

In addition to his Ph.D., Dr. Hodson holds a master’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Central Florida, and a dual bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Connecticut.