Jan Stupl is an affiliate and a former postdoctoral fellow at CISAC. He is currently a Research Scientist with SGT, a government contractor, and works in the Mission Design Division at NASA Ames Research Center (Mountain View, CA). In the Mission Design Division, Jan conducts research on novel methods for laser communication and space debris mitigation and supports concept development for space missions.
Before his current position, Jan was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC) at Stanford University until 2011, investigating technical and policy implications of high power lasers for missile defense and as anti-satellite weapons (ASAT), as well as the proliferation of ballistic missiles. The research on laser ASATs focuses on damage mechanisms, the potential sources and countries of origin of laser ASATs and ways to curb their international proliferation. Before coming to CISAC, Jan was a Research Fellow at the Institute of Peace Research and Security Policy (IFSH) at the University of Hamburg, Germany. His PhD dissertation was a physics-based analysis of future of High Energy Lasers and their application for missile defense and focused on the Airborne Laser missile defense system. This work was jointly supervised by the IFSH, the Institute of Laser and System Technologies at Hamburg University of Technology and the physics department of Hamburg University, where he earned his PhD in 2008. His interest in security policy and international politics was fuelled by an internship at the United Nations in New York in 2003.