Research & Innovation

Stevens SSE Faculty Awarded Next Phase of DARPA Funded Grant

Hoboken, NJ Two faculty members in Stevens School of Systems and Enterprises, Dr. Roshanak Nilchiani and Dr. Babak Heydari, have recently been awarded the second phase of a competitive grant funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) for the Fractionated Spacecraft Program, known as “F6.”  This award is a continuation of the first phase of the grant, originally received by the research team in May 2011, and represents the only university team selected to continue into the second phase.
The winning proposal's title is "New Paradigms in Systems Design of the Future Fractionated Spacecrafts: Quantification of the Value of Flexibility and the Theory of Emergent Modularity." The focus of their research is on developing frameworks, methodologies and new quantitative modelings that can enable quantitatively assessing the value of systems illities such as Flexibility and Adaptability in face of various uncertain futures and scenarios.  The research also addresses the question of how to optimally and dynamically modularize and fractionate a system so the maximum flexibility can be achieved in face of uncertainties.
The theories and models developed by Dr. Nilchiani and Dr. Heydari has been and will be applied to DARPA’s Fractionated Spacecraft Concept.  The F6 concept suggests a major shift in design of the next generations of satellites by modularizing and fractionating space missions into several modules that are in communication and formation flying, as opposed to a single, large monolithic design.
Drs. Nilchiani and Heydari's team currently consists of two post doctoral research associate collaborators and a PhD student. The total amount of award including the base period and the two optional phases spans a period of 2.5 years and a budget of $1.65 million.


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Founded in 1870, Stevens Institute of Technology, The Innovation University™, lives at the intersection of industry, academics and research.  The University's students, faculty and partners leverage their collective real-world experience and culture of innovation, research and entrepreneurship to confront global challenges in engineering, science, systems and technology management. 

Based in Hoboken, N.J. and with a location in Washington, D.C., Stevens offers baccalaureate, master’s, certificates and doctoral degrees in engineering, the sciences and management, in addition to baccalaureate degrees in business and liberal arts.  Stevens has been recognized by both the US Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Excellence in the areas of systems engineering and port security research. The University has a total enrollment of more than 2,350 undergraduate and 3,600 graduate students with almost 450 faculty. Stevens’ graduate programs have attracted international participation from China, India, Southeast Asia, Europe and Latin America as well as strategic partnerships with industry leaders, governments and other universities around the world.  Additional information may be obtained at and