John Dec

Professor of the Practice
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Dr. Dec joins the AE faculty as a professor of the practice. He received his B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his M.S. and Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Prior to joining Georgia Tech, Dec was the program manager at Terminal Velocity Aerospace (TVA). 

Dec also spent 16 years at NASA Langley Research Center where he was a senior thermal engineer specializing in planetary entry, descent, and landing as well as satellite thermal control. During his 16 years at NASA he worked on projects such as the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) flexible thermal protection system (TPS), the Crew Exploration Vehicle Thermal Protection System Advanced Development Project, NASA Engineering and Safety Center (NESC) Autonomous Aerobraking Project, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) Aerobraking, Mars Odyssey Aerobraking, and the Mars Sample Return Earth Entry Vehicle. His research activities focus on planetary entry, descent, and landing technology development, including: thermal protection system design and optimization and hypersonic aerothermodynamics.



  • Space Systems Design Lab (SSDL)


  • Systems Design & Optimization

  • Aerodynamics & Fluid Mechanics

AE Multidisciplinary Research Areas:

  • Space Exploration and Earth Monitoring


B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, 1993, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; M.S., Aerospace Engineering, 1994, Georgia Institute of Technology; Ph.D. Aerospace Engineering, 2010, Georgia Institute of Technology;