Dr. Mircea Badescu is a Senior Member of Technical Staff at JPL's Advanced Technologies Group. He received the B.S./M.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the Technical Military Academy in Bucharest, Romania, in 1992. He received the Ph.D. degree in robotics in mechanical and aerospace engineering, from Rutgers University, in 2003. He joined JPL's NDE and Advanced Actuators (NDEAA) laboratory in February 2004 as a Caltech Postdoctoral Scholar and made the transition to staff engineer in February 2005. Prior to joining JPL he worked for the Romanian Navy on the design of underwater diving equipment. From 1999 to 2003, he was a Teaching Assistant, and in 2003 he was an instructor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Rutgers University. From September 2003 to December 2003 he was a Postdoctoral Associate in the Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, Rutgers University. His main research has been on optimal design of self-reconfigurable robots using parallel platforms as modules. He has also been working on kinematic analysis of bio-nano structures as part of a multidisciplinary team. He has expertise on designing haptic devices for vehicular instruments control and automotive smart clutches, fields where he has worked on joint research projects with General Motors. He has authored 1 book chapter, over 50 papers, 15 NASA Tech Briefs and 17 New Technology Reports, 3 patents, and given numerous talks at international meetings. He has been involved in the development of a variety of sampling tools including the Ultrasonic Sonic Driller Corer, Ultrasonic Gopher and Aerobot Harpoon sampler, sample sealing systems for planetary sample return missions, optical fiber positioning systems for ground based telescopes and precision mechanisms for SIM. In the course of his research he has participated in field trips to the Mojave Desert, California, Mt Hood, Oregon and Lake Vida, Antarctica.
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