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Van Duong


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109

Van Ai Duong

Robotics Electrical Engineer


Van Duong is a Robotics Electrical Engineer for JPL's Embedded Robotics System Group. She carries a wealth of experience for integration and testing from three different flight missions: Psyche, Europa Clipper, and the Mars Sample Return Lander. She also has a strong history of work experience at multiple NASA centers, robotics & civil engineering academic research centers, and within the airline industry. Her graduate work was centered around developing an inverse reinforcement algorithm to mimic the human decision making of an expert rover operator, putting together a COTS rover, and generating new research partnerships and proposals. Her prior work experience includes integration and testing, FPGA/electronics testing, software development, modeling/simulation/visualization, rover operations, and field testing high altitude balloon/COTS CubeSat.

Being an immigrant from Vietnam and first generation high school graduate, Van is a strong advocate for underserved and underrepresented communities both in her personal and professional life. At JPL, she is involved in a variety of efforts in increasing diversity on Lab and within the I&T/EE/STEM field. Outside of JPL, she finds time to help her community in various ways, including serving as a instructor leading minority children on outdoor excursions while teaching key lessons about communication, respect, and leadership.


  • M.S. in Electrical And Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology (2021).
    • Thesis collaboration with JPL: Space Robot Apprenticeship: Characterizing Human Rover Planners to Enable Robotic Decision Support in Path Planning on Mars
  • B.S. in Mathematics, University of Minnesota Twin-Cities (2019).
    • Minor in Computer Science.
  • Engineering Exchange, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (2018).

Professional Experience

LinkedIn: Link

  • Robotics Electrical Engineer, JPL Embedded Robotic Systems Group (2023 - Present)
  • Embedded Flight Software Engineer, JPL Electronics Design Test & Validation Group (2021 - 2023)
  • Flight Electronics Academic Part Time, JPL Electronics Design Test & Validation Group (2020-2021)
  • Graduate Robotics Researcher, Georgia Institute of Technology CORE Robotics Laboratory (2019-2021)
  • Pathways Intern / Civil Servant, NASA Ames Research Center (2019-2021)
  • Mars Science Laboratory Intern, JPL Science Data Visualization Group (2020)
  • Robotics Intern, JPL Robotic Operations and Verification & Validation Group, (2019)
  • UAM/UAV Visualization Intern, NASA Glenn Research Center (2018)
  • Research Associate - NASA Academy Leadership Program, NASA Langley Research Center (2018)
  • International Business Analyst Intern, Delta Air Lines (2017)
  • Undergraduate Researcher Associate, Minnesota Traffic Observatory (2017)

Research Interests

  • Rapid prototyping
  • Field testing
  • Integration and testing
  • Climate change


  • JPL Team Award: For completion of development, testing, and delivery of the Europa Clipper REU Units (2023)
  • JPL Voyageur Award: For team building and recruiting contribution across the section (2022)
  • JPL Team Award: For successful completion of Psyche Compute Element FM functional and environmental test campaign and delivery to ATLO (2021)
  • Georgia Space Grant (2020)
  • Minnesota Space Grant (2019)