Dr. Hastings, Chief Executive Officer and Director for SMART, who earned a Ph.D. and an S.M, from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1980 and 1978 respectively, received a B.A. in Mathematics from Oxford University in England in 1976. He joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1985, advancing to associate professor in 1988 and full professor in 1993. Dr. Hastings served ESD as the Director of the Technology and Policy Program from 2000-2003, Associate Director of ESD from July 2001 - April, 2003, Co-Director from May, 2003 - June, 2004, and Director from July 2004 - December 2005.
A s Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems, Hastings has taught courses and seminars in plasma physics, rocket propulsion, advanced space power and propulsion systems, aerospace policy, technology and policy, engineering education, and space systems engineering.
Dr. Hastings served as chief scientist to the U.S. Air Force from 1997 to 1999. In that role, he served as chief scientific adviser to the chief of staff and the secretary and provided assessments on a wide range of scientific and technical issues affecting the Air Force mission. He led several influential studies on where the Air Force should invest in space, global energy projection, and options for a science and technology workforce for the 21st century.
Dr. Hastings’ recent research has concentrated on issues with global education and with aerospace systems, and has also focused on issues related to spacecraft-environmental interactions, space propulsion, space systems engineering, and space policy. He has published many papers and a book in the field of spacecraft-environment interactions and several papers in space propulsion and space systems. He has led several national studies on government investment in space technology as well as science and technology (S&T) policy for the government.
Dr. Hastings is a Fellow of the AIAA and a full academician in the International Academy of Astronautics. He has served as a member of the National Science Board, the Applied Physics Lab Science and Technology Advisory Panel, as well as the chair of Air Force Scientific Advisory Board. He is a member of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Advisory Committee and is on the Board of Trustees of the Aerospace Corporation and the Draper Laboratory. He is a member of the AAAS Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy and has served on numerous National Research Council studies on space issues, S&T workforce issues and engineering education. Dr. Hastings was elected as a Fellow of INCOSE (the International Council on System Engineering) in June 2007.