Edgar Glenn Lightsey

John W. Young Chair
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Dr. Glenn Lightsey is the director of the Space Systems Design Lab and Center for Space Technology And Research at Georgia Tech. His research program focuses on the technology of small satellites, including: guidance, navigation, and control systems; attitude determination and control; formation flying, satellite swarms, and satellite networks; cooperative control; proximity operations and unmanned spacecraft rendezvous; space based Global Positioning System receivers; radionavigation; visual navigation; propulsion; satellite operations; and space systems engineering. He was named John W. Young Chair in the School of Aerospace Engineering in March 2024. 

Dr. Lightsey has authored and co-authored more than 140 technical articles and publications, including four book chapters. He is an AIAA Fellow and a Founding Member of the AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee. He is Associate Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Small Satellites. Dr. Lightsey was previously employed at the University of Texas at Austin and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Prior to joining the faculty at the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, Dr. Lightsey held the position of Fellow of the W. R. Woolrich Professor in Engineering in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at The University of Texas at Austin. He also held the title of University Distinguished Teaching Professor, a position designated to less than 5% of the tenured faculty at The University of Texas. In 2011, Dr. Lightsey received the American Society for Engineering Education's John Leland Atwood Award for outstanding aerospace engineering education, and the William David Blunk Memorial Professorship for outstanding undergraduate teaching at the University of Texas at Austin.



  • Space Systems Design Lab (SSDL)


  • Systems Design & Optimization
  • Flight Mechanics & Controls

AE Multidisciplinary Research Areas:

  • Space Exploration and Earth Monitoring

B.S.E - Princeton University - Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering; M.S. - Johns Hopkins University - Electrical Engineering; Ph.D. - Stanford University - Aeronautics & Astronautics;

Distinctions & Awards

AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award (2019); Univ. of Texas Academy of Distinguished Teachers (2012-2014); John Leland Atwood Award for Outstanding Teaching in Aerospace Engineering (2012); Institute of Navigation Tycho Brahe Award (2005), Big XII Faculty Fellow (2004); Halliburton Young Faculty Excellence Award (2000); NASA Manned Flight Awareness Award (1999)