AFRL aerospace engineer receives international recognition

  • Published
  • By Jeanne Dailey
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs
KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AFRL) - Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate principal aerospace engineer Dr. Khanh Pham was recently recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS). Pham joined AFRL in 2004 following graduation from the University of Notre Dame, and today serves as a technical and subject matter expert in conceptualization, development, and evaluation of protected tactical satellite communications and resilient satellite navigation for the Space Vehicles Geospace Technologies Division.
The Royal Aeronautical Society was established in 1866 to further the art, science and engineering of aeronautics, and seeks to promote the highest possible standards in aerospace disciplines, be a central forum for the exchange of ideas, and play a leading role in influencing opinion on aerospace matters.
“This fellowship will provide the opportunity to inform and engage with like-minded allied nations, such as the United Kingdom aerospace community,” said Pham. “I hope to continue working with the aerospace community from both the US and UK to bring other relevant education and systems engineering principles in satellite communications, and position, navigation and timing to further the full integration and implementation of selected space domain awareness solutions.”
Pham further explained that most of the R&D activities in space domain awareness have focused on sensor control, sensing resource allocation, and trends in device physics. He said that other key technologies and infrastructures like wireless communications, networking, PNT have always been assumed readily available, but in reality, these infrastructures and technologies need strengthening.
This past year, Pham was selected as a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors and the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and was honored as an AFRL Fellow in 2020 and a Fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers in 2015.
“Dr. Pham is world-renowned in his scientific field, and the incredible recognition he received as a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, along with his other fellowship distinctions, speak volumes of his capability and asset to this nation,” said Erin Pettyjohn, who leads the Geospace Technologies Division. 
Pham encourages colleagues, students and apprentices to participate in professional societies, “because the payoff is very gratifying and is a way to develop a tremendous circle of lasting friendships and presents opportunities to make a difference.”
”As a RAeS fellow, I look forward to being involved in many exciting venues such as insight blogs, aerospace magazines, journals and papers that enable beneficial discussions,” Pham said. “My colleagues, peers and I plan to cooperate in the areas  that promote lectures, conferences, and other activities of mutual interest. I am gratified by the exceptional support I have received from the Lab leadership, top management and colleagues over the years that have made this honor possible.”
About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: