Welcome to the Complex Engineering Systems Lab at Stevens!

The research in the Complex Engineering Systems Lab, directed by Prof. Hao Chen, is in the areas of space systems and complex system design. Our research program mainly focuses on high-level space system development to significantly improve space mission affordability, comfortability, and reliability. Three main research thrusts of our lab are,

Thrust I: Space Systems Engineering:

  • Key research areas:
    • Space logistics
    • Space resource utilization
    • In-space servicing, assembly, and manufacturing (ISAM)
    • Space commercialization
    • Space debris remediation, management, and active removal
  • Main application goal:
    • make space mission affordable

Thrust II: Complexity Science (for Engineering Systems):

  • Key research areas:
    • Engineering design in extreme environments
    • Engineering design at extreme scales
    • Quantum computing for engineering systems
  • Main application goal:
    • make space mission reliable

Thrust III: Humans in Space:

  • Key research areas:
    • Human factors and behavioral performance in space
    • Human-system integration in Isolated, Confined, and Extreme (ICE) environments
    • Deep space habitats
    • Spacesuit systems
  • Main application goal:
    • make space mission comfortable

Fully funded Ph.D. student positions for Fall 2024, are available in my lab, with a particular focus on research in Systems Engineering and Engineering Design.

Director: Prof. Hao Chen


  • Assistant Professor, Stevens Institute of Technology, Aug. 2021 – Present.
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology, Jul. 2021 – Aug. 2021.


  • Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2021.
  • M.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2016.
  • B.S., Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, Sun Yat-sen University, 2014.


  • 2024 Excellence in Teaching as an Assistant Professor (SSE), Stevens Institute of Technology
  • 2023 SSE Dean Research Incentive Award, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • 2019 Luigi G. Napolitano Award, International Astronautical Congress


March 2024: A current NASA project to conduct space logistics analysis and incentive design for the commercialization of orbital debris remediation is featured on Stevens news.

March 2024: Prof. Chen received the Excellence in Teaching as an Assistant Professor award from the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens.

July 2023: Prof. Chen received a grant from NASA’s Office of Technology, Policy & Strategy to address space debris. (NASA announcement).

May 2023: Prof. Chen received an Engineering Research Initiation (ERI) award from NSF to create new model representation methods for complex engineering systems (NSF award page).