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Meet the Ghanaian scientist investigating beneath Mars’ surface

As a child in Ghana, Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollenu watched planes take off and was inspired by the possibility of autonomous aircraft. Now, he’s the innovator robotically deploying and installing landers autonomously on other planets.

Dr Ashitey Trebi-Ollennu is the Product Delivery Manager, for the InSight Mars Mission Instrument Deployment System, Instrument Deployment System operations Team Chief and a technical group lead in the Robotic Manipulation & Sampling group at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, where he has been since 1999.

Dr Trebi-Ollenu was part of a team who helped deploy a lander on the surface of Mars. Dr Trebi-Ollennu is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, U. K., and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, U.K. Senior Member IEEE RAS and IEEE SMC.

He is also a fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences. His current research at JPL focuses on Planetary Rovers, Manipulation, Multiple Mobile Robots (Planetary Outpost), Reconfigurable Robots and Man-machine Interaction. Dr. Trebi-Ollennu’s research has resulted in more than 95 publications.

Education
He completed his secondary education at the Ghana Secondary Technical School.He travelled to the United Kingdom where he received his Bachelors in Engineering (BEng) in Avionics at the Queen Mary, University of London in 1991, with a thesis on “Review of 4-D guidance techniques and the simulation of 4-D aircraft guidance”.

Between 1993 and 1996, he pursued his PhD in Control Systems Engineering at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Royal Military College of Science, Cranfield University in the UK where he wrote his dissertation titled “Robust Non-linear Control Designs Using Adaptive Fuzzy Systems.” Dr Trebi-Ollenu also holds a project management certification from the Caltech, earned in 2007.

Professional Experience
In Dr Trebi-Ollennu’s 17 year career at JPL he has worked on flight projects, flight projects review boards, mission formulation, technology tasks, writing technology proposals, served as a reviewer for NASA Science Mission Directorate technology proposals and NASA Office of Education proposals.

Source: Graphic.com.gh

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