Faculty Expert Profile
- Chief Scientist, Space Science
- Applied Physics Lab
- Space Exploration Sector
Ralph L. McNutt Jr., a physicist, is the chief scientist for Space Science at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
McNutt is project scientist and a co-investigator on NASA’s MESSENGER mission to Mercury, co-investigator on NASA’s Solar Probe Plus mission to the solar corona, principal investigator on the PEPSSI investigation on the New Horizons mission to Pluto, a co-investigator for the Voyager PLS and LECP instruments, and a member of the Ion Neutral Mass Spectrometer Team on the Cassini Orbiter spacecraft.
He has held various NASA grants and served on various NASA review and planning panels and Science and Technology Definition Teams for Solar Probe (twice) and Interstellar Probe. He has published over 150 science and engineering papers and over 250 scientific and engineering abstracts and given over 150 professional and popular talks.
He received his bachelor's of science degree in physics at Texas A&M University in 1975 and his doctorate in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. He has been at APL since 1992 and before that held positions at Visidyne, Inc., M.I.T., and Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque.