Professor Sergio Pellegrino

Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Civil Engineering; Jet Propulsion Laboratory Senior Research Scientist; Co-Director, Space-Based Solar Power Project
(626) 395-4764                                                                                                                           

Sergio Pellegrino, Joyce and Kent Kresa Professor of Aerospace and Civil Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, JPL Senior Research Scientist and Co-Director of the Space Solar Power Project, received a Laurea in Civil Engineering from the University of Naples (Italy) in 1982 and a PhD in Structural Mechanics from the University of Cambridge (UK) in 1986. From 1983 to 2007 he was on the faculty of the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, where he founded the Deployable Structures Laboratory. In 1992 he was a Research Fellow at European Space Technology Center in the Netherlands. He has held visiting positions at University of Colorado at Boulder, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Stanford University and Harvard University. In 2019 he was the Michael M. Byram Distinguished Visiting Professor, Ann & H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder.

Pellegrino’s general area of research is the mechanics of lightweight structures, focusing on packaging, deployment, shape control and stability. With his students and collaborators, he is currently working on novel concepts for future space telescopes, spacecraft antennas, and space-based solar power systems. As a member of the NASA Superpressure Balloon design team from 2003 to 2016, he has worked extensively on analysis methods for stratospheric balloons.

Pellegrino’s publications have been selected for several awards, including the ICE James Watt Medal 2000; AIAA Gossamer Spacecraft Forum Best Paper Award in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011 and 2013; IASS Tsuboi Award in 2004, 2005, and 2007; ASME/Boeing Best Paper Award in 2008; and ASME Mechanisms and Robotics Committee Best Paper Award in 2013. He received a Pioneers’ Award in 2002 from the Space Structures Research Center, University of Surrey, and NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement Team Awards in 2009 and 2016 for his contribution to the superpressure balloon development. Pellegrino is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of AIAA and a Chartered Structural Engineer. He is currently President of the International Association for Shell and Spatial Structures (IASS) and has been the founding chair of the AIAA Spacecraft Structures Technical Committee. Pellegrino has authored over 300 technical publications.