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Chris Yahnker

Address:

4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91101

Member of:

347C - Extreme Environment Robotics

Acting Member of:

347C - Extreme Environment Robotics

Chris Yahnker, P.E.

Division Technologist - Autonomous Systems (D34)

Group Supervisor (Acting)

Biography

Chris Yahnker moved to CA in 2014 and joined JPL in 2015. Having spent close to 20 years in industry working in the design of power tools, robots, medical equipment, etc; he brings a wide range of engineering background and experiences to the team. He has held various levels of responsibility from a technical staff member to executive management throughout his career. He is a co-inventor on 45+ US Patents, has presented papers and taught seminars at IEEE conferences, and written articles for several trade magazines.

Education

Masters of Mechanical Engineering - Johns Hopkins University
Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering - North Carolina State University

Professional Experience

JPL Experience:

  • Chief Technologist - Division 34 Autonomous Systems - January 2022 - present
  • Group Supervisor - Extreme Environment Robotics (347C): 2018 - present
  • Deputy Chief Technologist- Division 34 Autonomous Systems: 2021 - January 2022
  • Group Lead - Extreme Environment Robotics (347C): 2016 - 2018
  • Chevron Alliance Manager: 2019 - 2021
  • Chevron Technical Fellow: 2017 - 2019
  • MSR Sample Transfer System Conceptualization: 2018 - 2021
  • Europa Lander Sampling Subsystem Development: 2015 - 2017

Previous Positions Prior to JPL:

  • WET Design – Vice President of Product Development & Engineering, Sun Valley, CA
  • EVATRAN GROUP, INC., – Technical Program Manager Morrisville, NC
  • ROBOT CORPORATION – Chief Engineer (Maritime Systems), Durham, NC
  • INSIGHT PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – Principal Engineer, Raleigh, NC
  • PENTAIR WATER – Design Engineer, Sanford, NC
  • DeWALT – Project Engineer, Towson, MD

Research Interests

Autonomous underwater and surface vehicles