UC Davis | Retired NASA Astronaut
Stephen Kern Robinson, Ph.D.
Before joining the faculty at the University of California, Davis in 2012, Stephen Robinson spent 37 years at NASA, where he worked as an apprentice machinist, lab technician, research scientist, engineer, manager, and astronaut. Robinson is now a tenured professor in the UC Davis Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. He also directs the UC Davis Human/Robotic/Vehicle Integration and Performance Lab, where graduate and undergraduate students pursue research in Human Spaceflight, Spacecraft Design for Human Health and Safety, Aviation Safety, Human/Automation/Robotic Integration, Human Performance, Automation and Control, and CubeSat and UAV applications.
During his 17 years as a NASA Astronaut, Dr. Robinson flew on four space shuttle missions, including three spacewalks, visited the ISS twice, was certified as a Cosmonaut in Star City, Russia, and has extensive expertise in spacecraft systems, human/systems integration, operational safety, space robotics, aerodynamics, and fluid physics.
Dr. Robinson has received numerous awards, including NASA’s highest honor - the NASA Distinguished Service Medal, and the UC Davis College of Engineering Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award. Robinson is a UC Davis alumnus in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering (B.S., 1978) and received his M.S. and Ph.D. in turbulence physics from Stanford University in Mechanical and Aero/Astro Engineering (1986, 1990).
Dr. Robinson is an active pilot, an artist, and a multi-instrument musician – he currently plays with the mostly-astronaut band Bandella, and the all-astronaut rock band, Max Q.