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R. Davis Born


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 82-105

Pasadena, CA 91101


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R. Davis Born

Robotics Electrical Engineer


Davis joined JPL full time in 2018 with the Robotic Manipulation and Sampling group. At JPL, he has worked on control systems analysis for the Sampling & Caching Subsystem of the Mars 2020 Rover Mission.

Prior to joining JPL, Davis had three internships at SpaceX working on life support systems for the Dragon Crew Capsule and developing ground support capabilities for launch and landing.

During his Masters program at Stanford, Davis chose courses that focused on Control Theory and Mechatronics. He also had the opportunity to work on projects including path planning for autonomous balloons, analysis of data from biologging tags deployed on Bluefin Tuna and White Sharks, and an engineering-centric characterization of an archaeological site.

Outside of engineering, Davis is an avid musician and diver. He has played saxophone since 5th grade, and he has been SCUBA-certified since high school.


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
(Minor in Computer Science)
[University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign]

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
(Focuses in Control Theory, Mechatronics, and Design)
[Stanford University]

Professional Experience

Controls Lead for Mars 2020 Sampling & Caching Subsystem.
Embedded software developer for Europa Lander robotic research testbeds.

Research Interests

autonomy, planning, control theory, distributed systems, mechanisms


Discovery Team Award: For successful delivery of motion control analysis for M2020 SCS Robotic Arm, Coring Drill, and Adaptive Caching Assembly gearmotors.

Special Thanks and Recognition Award: For hard work and dedication as a founder and leader of the Early Career Community.