Project Icarus Consultant
RALPH L. McNUTT, JR. is a Physicist and a member of the Principal Professional Staff of The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He received his B.S. in Physics (summa cum laude) at Texas A&M University in 1975 and his Ph.D. in Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. He has been at APL since 1992 and before that held positions at Visidyne, Inc., M.I.T., and Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque. Dr. McNutt is Project Scientist and a Co-Investigator on NASA’s MESSENGER mission to Mercury, Co-Investigator on NASA’s Solar Probe Plus mission to the solar corona, Principal Investigator on the PEPSSI investigation on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, a Co-Investigator for the Voyager PLS and LECP instruments, and a Member of the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer Team on the Cassini Orbiter spacecraft.
He has held various NASA grants and served on various NASA review and planning panels and Science and Technology Definition Teams for Solar Probe (twice) and Interstellar Probe. He has also served on a variety of National Research Council committees, including as Co-Chair of the NRC Committee on Radioisotope Power Supplies (2008-2009) and currently as a Member of the Steering Committee, Solar System Exploration Decadal Survey (29 May 2009 – 18 Aug 2011). He is a Member of International Academy of Astronautics, Fellow of The British Interplanetary Society, Member of the American Astronomical Society and its Division for Planetary Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, Sigma Xi, The Planetary Society, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the American Nuclear Society. Dr. McNutt is the recipient of eleven NASA Group Achievement Awards. He has published over 150 science and engineering papers and over 250 scientific and engineering abstracts and given over 150 professional and popular talks.