Dr. Furfaro is currently Full Professor, Department of Systems and Industrial Engineering, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Arizona. He is also the Deputy Director of the Space, Security, Safety & Sustainability Center (S4C).
He obtained a Laurea Degree (M.S. equivalent) in Aeronautical Engineering (1998, University of Rome “La Sapienza”) and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering (2004, University of Arizona). He has a broad range of expertise and research interests and has been working on a numerous and diverse projects including development of guidance navigation and control of planetary landers, systems engineering for close-proximity operations on small bodies, machine learning applications to space situational awareness and G&C for hypersonic vehicles.
He has served as PI and Co-PI of numerous high-impact research and development grants with a total amount of funds received by NASA, AFRL and other agencies over the past 15 years exceeding $80M. He published more than 80 peer-reviewed journal papers and more than 200 conference papers and abstracts.
Since 2013, he has been appointed technical member of the American Astronautical Society (AAS) Space Flight Mechanics committee and he served as Technical Chair of the 2015 AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanic Meeting (Williamsburg Virginia). He is currently technical member of the AIAA Astrodynamics Committee and the AAS Space Surveillance Committee as well as Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems. During phase B-D (2011-2016) of the OSIRIS REx Asteroid Sample Return Mission, he was the systems engineering lead for the Science Processing and Operations (SPOC).
He is currently the Target Follow-up WG lead for the NASA NEO Surveyor Mission. For his contribution to the OSIRIS REx mission, the asteroid 2003 WX3 was renamed 133474 Roberto Furfaro. Recently, Prof. Furfaro has been elected the 2021 Da Vinci Fellow at the College of Engineering, University of Arizona. Additionally, Prof. Furfaro has been elected AIAA Associate Fellow, Class 2022 and AAS Fellow, Class 2021.