Dr. Richard Branam

  • Assistant Professor

Contact Information

  • Office: 222 Hardaway
  • Phone: (205) 348-3233
  • Fax: (205) 348-7240

Areas of Research

  • Rocket engines and combustors
  • Micro/nano-space propulsion


  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, 2005
  • M.S.; Aerospace Engineering, U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, 1999
  • B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Ohio State University, 1993


Dr. Richard Branam joined the faculty at The University of Alabama College of Engineering after 25 years in the Air Force where he served as a researcher and engineer, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

His areas of research include rocket propulsion, space propulsion, plasma dynamics, combustion and space systems.

In the Air Force, he was the principle engineer and program manager for the Upper Stage Demo Rocket Engine. This project was specifically designed to double U.S. rocket propulsion capability. He was then  selected for the exchange program to work at the German Aerospace Center for two years at its rocket engine research facilities in Lampoldshausen, Germany.

His research area of super-critical injection inside rocket engines led him to a teaching position at the Air Force Institute of Technology, AFIT. After accepting the position, he began doctoral research at Pennsylvania State University on molecular dynamics in supercritical fluids. He was named an assistant professor at AFIT after earning his doctorate. In five years at AFIT, he worked with world-class researchers in the areas of rocket engines, combustion, laser diagnostics, hypersonics, space propulsion and plasma diagnostics.