Ben Hockman

Ben Hockman

Benjamin Hockman is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering. He received his B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Aerospace from the University of Delaware, and a M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2015. In the Cooperative Robotics Lab at the University of Delaware, he worked on mobile robotic sensor networks for improved detection of radioactive materials.

Ben’s research interests span robotics, control theory, mechatronics, design, and autonomy, especially when applied to space systems. He is currently the Stanford lead for the Hedgehog Project, which seeks to enable controlled surface mobility on small Solar System bodies (such as asteroids and comets) with a novel hopping/tumbling rover. In this role, he has been involved in the design and control of hardware/prototypes, microgravity test beds, and motion planning algorithms with complex dynamic and environmental constraints.

In his free time, Ben also enjoys playing billiards, racquetball, mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and climbing things.


  • NSF Fellowship
  • Stanford Engineering Graduate Fellowship
  • Best Student Paper, Int. Conf. on Field and Service Robotics, 2015
  • Best Student Presentation, Int. Planetary Probes Workshop, 2017
  • Best Student Poster, 2016 NASA Exploration Science Forum
  • Best Student Presentation, 2015 Stanford ME Conference
  • (2nd) Best Student Poster, 2016 Stanford ME Conference
  • “Best Hair”, 2008 high school yearbook
  • 2 gold stars for my drawing of an elephant, Linden Hill Elementary School, 1997

Currently at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory