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Phillip M. Cunio has bachelor’s degrees in German, mechanical engineering, and aerospace engineering from the University of Florida, as well as an SM in Aeronautics and Astronautics and a PhD in Space Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While at MIT, Phillip led a team in developing a hopping vehicle for planetary surface exploration, including building a prototype for use in Earth gravity, which was exercised over a months-long flight campaign. Phillip also worked for the Air Force Research Laboratory from 2012-2016, where he acquired experience in designing space systems for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Space Situational Awareness (SSA) missions, and led field data collection and theoretical development for a novel method of understanding and characterizing jet turbine acoustic noise.

Phillip has served as a technical expert, head of flight operations, or frontline management for various research and development teams in his career, and has authored or co-authored over 25 technical publications in areas as diverse as human factors and Mars exploration. He currently works as a senior systems engineer at ExoAnalytic Solutions, Inc., where he focuses on developing new methods to collect SSA data and perform specialized analyses of resident space objects.