Mehdi Benna

Photo of MEHDI BENNA

Mehdi Benna

  • PLANETARY SCIENTIST
  • 301.614.6392
  • NASA/GSFC
  • Mail Code: 699
  • Greenbelt , MD 20771
  • Employer: UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND BALTIMORE COUNTY
  • Brief Bio

    Dr. Benna is a planetary scientist with a research emphasis in plasma physics and planetary magnetospheres dynamics. Dr. Benna received his degree in Electrical Engineering from the Engineering School of Tunis (ENIT) in 1999. After obtaining a M.Sc. in Radio-wave Telecommunication from the University of Tunis in 2000, he received in 2002 a Ph.D. in Space Science from the University of Toulouse in France. From 2002 to 2003, Dr. Benna was an associate scientist at the Planetary and Terrestrial Geophysics Laboratory (CNRS) in France, and from 2003 to 2006, he was an NRC postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Dr. Benna’s main research interest is the numerical modeling of planetary magnetospheres and exospheres. Besides his scientific work, he uses his engineering experience to support the development of several space-borne instruments (ROSETTA-CONSERT, CONTOUR-NGIMS MSL-SAM, LADEE-NMS, and MAVEN-NGIMS). His publications include papers on MHD modeling of planetary magnetospheres, comets and icy moons of the solar system, radiotomography techniques, and ill-posed inverse problems.
     


    Current Projects

    - MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging mission (MESSENGER)

    - Mars Science Laboratory Mission (MSL)

    - Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN)

    - Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE)

    - Rosetta Mission

    Research Interests

    - Planetary atmospheres

    - Plasma physics

    - Small bodies

    - Radio-wave propagation theory

    - Electrical system design and calibration

    - Massively parallel scientific computing

    - Inverse problems

    Positions/Employment

    3 / 2006 - Present

    Planetary Research Scientist

    NASA/UMBC, Planetary Environment Laboratory NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    3 / 2003 - 3 / 2006

    Postdoctoral Researcher

    National Research Council , Planetary Environment Laboratory NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
    9 / 2002 - 3 / 2003

    Assistant Research Scientist

    Planetary and Terrestrial Geophysics Laboratory, Observatoire Midi-Pyrenees - France

    Education

    - Ph.D. in Planetary Science (2002), University of Toulouse, France.

    - M.S. in Radio-wave telecommunication (2000), University of Tunis, Tunisia.

    - Electrical Engineer (1999), University of Tunis, Tunisia.

    Professional Societies

    American Geophysical Union (AGU), 2003 - Present
    American Astronomical Society (AAS), 2003 - Present
    Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), 1999 - Present
    Asia Oceania Geosciences Society, 2006 - Present

    Professional Service

    - NASA Small Business Innovation and  Research Review Panel (2010-2011-2012)

    - NASA CASSINI Data Analysis Program Review Panel (2011-2012-2013)

    - NASA Planetary Instrument Development Program Review Panel (2010)

    Awards

    - NASA Group Achievement Award for exceptional achievement defining SAM's scientific goals and requirements, developing the instrument suite investigation, and operating SAM successfully on Mars (2013).

    - NASA Group Achievement Award for outstanding achievement in completing the MAVEN Phase B development (2011).

    - NASA Group Achievement Award for outstanding achievement in developing and delivering the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM)  Instrument Suite (2010).

    - NASA Group Achievement Award for outstanding achievement in developing and operating the MESSENGER spacecraft (2009).

    - Resident Research Associateship Award from the National Research Council (2003-2006).


    Brief Bio

    Dr. Benna is a planetary scientist with a research emphasis in plasma physics and planetary magnetospheres dynamics. Dr. Benna received his degree in Electrical Engineering from the Engineering School of Tunis (ENIT) in 1999. After obtaining a M.Sc. in Radio-wave Telecommunication from the University of Tunis in 2000, he received in 2002 a Ph.D. in Space Science from the University of Toulouse in France. From 2002 to 2003, Dr. Benna was an associate scientist at the Planetary and Terrestrial Geophysics Laboratory (CNRS) in France, and from 2003 to 2006, he was an NRC postdoctoral fellow at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

    Dr. Benna’s main research interest is the numerical modeling of planetary magnetospheres and exospheres. Besides his scientific work, he uses his engineering experience to support the development of several space-borne instruments (ROSETTA-CONSERT, CONTOUR-NGIMS MSL-SAM, LADEE-NMS, and MAVEN-NGIMS). His publications include papers on MHD modeling of planetary magnetospheres, comets and icy moons of the solar system, radiotomography techniques, and ill-posed inverse problems.
     


                                                                                                                                                                                            
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