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Lab scientist wins Air Force Outstanding Scientist Award

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, New Mexico -- Dr. Khanh Pham, an aerospace engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory's Space Vehicles Directorate, was honored with the prestigious Air Force Outstanding Scientist - Junior Civilian Award recently.

Dr. Pham, a four-year laboratory employee, was cited for "leading groundbreaking research in applying game theory to command and control and spacecraft autonomy problems for spacecraft." 

The annual award recognizes the top Air Force scientists who have made important contributions to technology or have solved technical problems in the areas of sustainment, testing, training or advancement of the Air Force.

Dr. Pham, the control and estimation technical lead for the guidance, navigation, control and autonomy group, earned his bachelor's in 1997 and master's in 1998 in electrical engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and his doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind., in 2004.

He is a member of many professional societies, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the International Society for Optical Engineering.

In addition, he has served on various committees and conference boards, such as the technical committee of SPIE International Symposium on Defense, Security and Sensing, and as session co-chair of Control and Techniques for Deployable and Large Structures at the 2006 Annual Rocky Mountain Guidance and Control Conference. He also served on the technical committee and as session chair for the Symposia of Recent Advances in Adaptive Control and Information Fusion at the 2007 SIAM Conference on Control and Its Applications.

Before working with the laboratory, Dr. Pham was a research associate while enrolled at the University of Notre Dame Department of Electrical Engineering. During that time, he was a member of Phi Theta, Eta Kappa, Golden Key and Tau Beta Pi Honor Societies and was on the National Dean's List every semester.

Additionally, he received two Fellowships, the Arthur J. Schmidt Presidential Fellowship and Center of Applied Mathematics Graduate Research Fellowship.

Dr. Pham has received various awards and recognition for his work in the laboratory, including Special Act or Service Awards in 2006 and 2008 and Air Force Office of Scientific Research Grants for 2005 to present.