Kevin Parkin-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Kevin Parkin

Contact Info:
Kevin Parkin
NASA Ames Research Center
Mail Stop 202-203
Moffett Field, CA 94035

Office: Mezzanine Level, Bldg N-244 /
Thermal Propulsion Lab, Room 299
Phone: 626-437-7488
Email: or

Kevin Parkin, Research Scientist

Areas of Interest

Rocket propulsion and gasdynamics, high power microwaves and directed energy, object-oriented software engineering, space mission design


M.Phys. 1999, University of Leicester. M.S. 2001, Caltech. Ph.D. 2006, Caltech


Dr. Parkin is currently a member of the Carnegie Mellon Silicon Valley Research Staff, Deputy Director of the Mission Design Center at NASA Ames, and project lead for the Microwave Thermal Rocket. Beginning with his Ph.D. thesis on Microwave Thermal Propulsion, his work spans theoretical, computational and experimental domains for the general problem of space access and economics. In July 2005, he was awarded the Korolev Medal by the Russian Federation of Cosmonautics.

He founded the NASA Ames Mission Design Center (MDC) and developed its software architecture, having previously created the well-known ICEMaker software for Team-X at NASA JPL. The Ames MDC was the first of its kind to make extensive use of groupware, for example in pooling knowledge to create and maintain spacecraft parts databases. Another innovation was the use of a centralized parametric mission design archive that enables realtime concurrent design collaboration and object-oriented style ‘inheritance’ of missions to promote reuse of designs and the growth of design trees.

Dr. Parkin is a member of the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He maintains an active involvement in space policy and in July 2003 was elected to the Secretariat of the Space Generation Advisory Council (UNSGAC), which supports the United Nations Programme on Space Applications.

Patents and Selected Publications

  • Parkin, K.L.G, and Culick, F.E.C, The Microwave Thermal Rocket, Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, in preparation.
  • Parkin, K.L.G, The Microwave Thermal Thruster and its Application to The Launch Problem. Ph.D thesis, June 2006.
  • Kevin L.G. Parkin, Joel C. Sercel, Michael Liu, Daniel P. Thunnissen, ICEMaker™: An Excel-Based Environment for Collaborative Design, IEEE Aerospace Conference, March 8-15, 2003, Big Sky, MT. IEEEAC Paper #1564.
  • K.L.G Parkin. A Microwave Heat-Exchange Thruster and Method of Operation the Same. - U.S. Patent 6993898