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Dr. Bruce Drolen is a Senior Technical Fellow at Space & Intelligence Systems in El Segundo, CA. He received his BS & MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois in ‘77 & ‘79 and his Ph.D. in ME, as a Doctoral Fellow, from the University of California, Berkeley in ‘86. In his 33 years of satellite thermal control experience he has developed and modeled the radiative and thermophysical properties of real engineering materials, heat pipes, loop heat pipes, pumped fluid loops, and other heat transport devices under non-ideal operating conditions, rarified and free molecular heating of spacecraft during ascent, anisotropic composite materials, contact conductance, and effects of the space environment on materials. Most recently, he has been deeply engaged in the Boeing 787 lithium ion battery investigation and the efforts to return to flight. A significant professional accomplishment has been the identification and application of loop heat pipes (LHPs) to Boeing’s high power spacecraft to allow the heat rejection capability to increase 3-fold through the use of LHP-fed deployable radiators.
Outside of Boeing, Drolen is an active member of AIAA, having served on the Thermophysics Technical Committee (TC) for several terms including as TC Chair. He has served as Technical Chair for several of the major AIAA conferences including in 2009, as General Chair for the AIAA Summer Fluids Conference. He is also a longstanding member of ASME and is now serving as an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer. He holds 4 patents and is the author of over 60 technical papers. Among his numerous technical honors, he was awarded the 1998 Chairman’s Hyland Patent Award for his work on thermal technology development.