Zachary R. Putnam
Zachary R. Putnam is an assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Putnam is an expert in planetary entry, descent, and landing systems. His research interests include novel guidance, navigation, and control systems for hypersonic and space applications, hypersonic and space systems design, flight mechanics, and mission design. Current research sponsors include the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Space Technology Mission Directorate, and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Dr. Putnam received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2015 where he was a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow. His Ph.D. research, conducted under Professor Bobby Braun, focused on developing analytical methods to compare disparate guidance and control systems for planetary entry and aerocapture systems. Before returning to academia to obtain his doctorate, Dr. Putnam was a member of the technical staff at the Charles Stark Draper Laboratory. At the Draper Laboratory he supported the development of the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle entry system as task leader for the Orion entry guidance algorithms. Dr. Putnam received his B.S. and M.S. in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His M.S. research focused on the design and evaluation of entry system options for human return from the moon.
Dr. Putnam lives with his family in Urbana, IL.