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William Raff


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91101

Member of:

347B - Applied Robotic Systems

William Raff

Member of Technical Staff


Began at JPL in 2006 as a EEE component rep working with Electrical Engineers to identify and procure space rated EEE Components on the Mars Science Laboratory.

2008-2011: MSL Hardware Quality Assurance supporting Actuator Assembly, Testing and troubleshooting.

2011 Resident QA for GRAIL at Lockheed Martin in Littelton Colorado followed by launch site ATLO lead through launch

2011-2012: SMAP Radar Hardware Quality Lead

2012-2014: JWST-MIRI Hardware Quality Assurance Lead

2014: Asteroid Retrieval and Redirect Mission-Microspine Gripper advancement and up-scaling of existing Microspine gripper technology to grip larger rocks using flight like materials and processes.

2014-2015: InSight hardware Quality Assurance oversight of foreign partners in France, Germany and Poland

2015-2018: SWOT Hardware quality assurance Lead

2018- present: M2020 Robotic Arm Mechanical Engineering.


Bachelors in Economics UCSD 2006
Masters in Robotics Manufacturing Systems Engineering CSUN 2014

Professional Experience

JPL 2006-Present

Research Interests

Using robotic arms and end effectors to advance scientific research pursuits on other planets and extra-terrestrial bodies.


  1. A. Parness T. Evans W. Raff et. al., "Maturing Microspine Grippers for Space Applications through Test Campaigns," AIAA 2017-5311, 21 October 2019.