Dr. David R. Criswell


Ph.D., 1968, Space Physics and Astronomy, Rice University.
M.S., 1964, Physics, University of North Texas.
B.S. 1963, cum laude, Physics, University of North Texas.

  • Director of the Institute for Space Systems Operations (ISSO) of the University of Houston.

  • Former Associate Director of the Texas Space Grant Consortium.

  • Organizer and first director of the California Space Grant Consortium for the Un. California.

  • Director Consortium for Space & Terrestrial Automation and Robotics (CSTAR).

  • Senior Staff Scientist and programs director at the Lunar and Planetary Institute.

  • Director of Proposal Evaluation Program for Universities Space Research Assoc.

  • Organized and directed review of over 6,000 proposals and 21,000 external reviews.

  • Research:  space/terrestrial solar power and industrialization, moon/solar wind interactions, automation and robotics, auroral physics, satellite and sounding rocket instrumentation, surface seismology, magnetospheric wave phenomena.

  • 18 patents granted and pending in space/terrestrial solar power and space transportation.

  • Over 200 research articles, contract reports, and advisory reports.

  • Professional societies:  AAAS, AIAA (Assoc. Fellow), IAEE-Houston Chapter

Dr. Criswell joined TRW-Houston in the 1968 after graduating from Rice University.  Under the direction of the operations manager, he worked in the five departments supporting the Apollo missions and in advanced planning for post Apollo programs.  

In 1970 he took an educational leave from TRW and became a visiting scientist and then a staff scientist at
the Lunar & Planetary Science Institute adjacent to the NASA-Johnson Space Center.  In 1980 Dr. Criswell accepted a research position with the University of California in the newly formed California Space Institute (Cal Space).  He formulation local and state-wide Cal Space research programs, acquired NASA and private research funds, and directed high-level programs reviews for NASA.  Between 1982 and 1990 Dr. Criswell consulted to 11 corporations, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the National Research Council, fourteen universities, NASA, the Office of Technology Assessment, and Universities Space Research Association.


In August 1990 Dr. Criswell returned to Texas and joined the University of Houston as ISSO director (1990 – 2011).  The primary focus of ISSO was creating graduate and post-graduate programs between NASA Johnson Space Center, the University of Houston, University of Houston Clear Lake, and other Texas organizations. 

The program focused on the exploration and development of space and high-technology.