Meet Dr. Maruthi Akella, the New Editor-in-Chief of the JAS

By Emily Cavanagh | November 20, 2019

By Emily Cavanagh | November 20, 2019

Dr. Akella directs the Controls Lab for Distributed and Uncertain Systems (C-DUS) with the ASE/EM Department at UT Austin.

The AAS is excited to introduce you to our new Editor-In-Chief of the Journal of the Astronautical Sciences (JAS), Dr. Maruthi Akella. Following a thorough evaluation of a pool of highly qualified applicants, an AAS committee unanimously selected Dr. Maruthi Akella to this prestigious role.

Dr. Akella comes to the position uniquely qualified. He has worked for several years as an American Astronautical Society Associate Editor, is an AAS Fellow, and recently served as an Associate Editor of two other aerospace journals. In fact, his connection to the JAS goes even further back than his role as Associate Editor; in 1996, Dr. Akella co-authored the first paper of his career in our journal. Dr. Akella’s appointment is a reflection of AAS’s high standards of excellence, and we eagerly anticipate a bright future with Dr. Akella at the helm.

“I am humbled and honored to be selected as Editor-in-Chief of the JAS,” Dr. Akella said in a statement. “The journal is one of the most significant scholarly publications in the astrodynamics field, and it has been led by distinguished researchers, including our current outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Professor Kathleen Howell.”

The AAS is deeply grateful to Dr. Howell, who devoted 27 years of service to AAS, which Dr. Akella echoed in his statement. “Throughout her long and remarkable tenure,” he said, “Kathie’s dynamism and passion led to broadening the scope of our journal, championing new and emerging fields, and successfully transitioning to a fully online publication.” He added that Dr. Howell will be a source of guidance during the Editor-in-Chief transition.

Given the JAS’s secure footing, Dr. Akella said he does not foresee a need for making any radical departures. “I will ensure that JAS keeps pace toward embracing the rapidly changing landscape that we operate in,” he said. “I look forward to prioritizing review timeliness, improving communications among the editorial team, and actively exploring special topics and sections dedicated to emerging research fields,” he added.

Dr. Maruthi Akella working in the lab at the University of Texas, Austin

Dr. Akella thanked AAS leadership for entrusting him with his new role. “I do not take this call to service lightly,” he said, “and I look forward to serving our astrodynamics community to the best of my ability.”

The Journal of Astronautical Science is a bimonthly publication dedicated to enhancing and sharing humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe. Our journal speaks to space professionals, space enthusiasts, educators, students, and anyone else interested in the exploration of the last frontier. JAS’s central mission is to educate while maintaining the highest standards of excellence as the space industry, as well as the American Astronautical Society itself, grows and changes.

AAS Members have free access to JAS. The Journal can be accessed online at no charge by AAS members via SpringerLink: The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences. For login details, email AAS at aas@astronautical.org. Non-members can purchase Journal papers or issues using the same link.

The JAS wants to learn about your valuable contribution to the astronautical science and technology of tomorrow. We welcome submissions on any topic involving space science, technology, exploration, law, or policy. Work covering issues relevant to the civil, commercial, and military and intelligence space sectors is also encouraged for submission. To learn more about our submission and review process, please visit Springer at https://www.editorialmanager.com/jass.

Emily Cavanagh is a graduate student at New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in magazine journalism.