Dr. John Brandenburg Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

Dr. John Brandenburg Ph.D. – Astronautics Division Chief Scientist

Kepler’s Astronautics Division Head and Senior Scientist is Dr. John Brandenburg Ph.D. Dr. Brandenburg is a plasma physicist and got his BA in Physics from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon, his MS in Applied Science at University of California at Davis and his Ph.D. in Theoretical Plasma Physics at the UC Davis extension campus at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. The title of his thesis was A Theoretical Model of a Reversed Field Ion Layer Made of Monoenergetic Ions. Its topic was magnetic confinement of plasmas for controlled nuclear fusion.

Dr. Brandenburg has held positions in a variety of high-tech companies specializing in plasma physics: Mission Research Corporation, Sandia National Laboratories, Research Support Instruments (RSI), The Aerospace Corporation, Florida Space Institute, and Orbital Technologies in Madison, Wisconsin. His work encompassed studies of the microwave electrothermal plasma thruster for space propulsion, rocket plume-regolith interactions on the Moon and Mars, vortex theory of rocket engine design, and Kaluza-Klein theory of field unification for purposes of space propulsion. He is a part-time instructor of Astronomy, Physics and Mathematics at Madison College, Wisconsin and most recently at Cal State Fullerton assisting Professor James Woodward and his team. Dr. Brandenburg will be managing Kepler’s newly opened Laboratory and Research Center located in Brea, California.

Some Publications of Dr. Brandenburg include:

“The Problem of Weak and Strong Nuclear Forces and Prediction of the Higgs-Boson Mass using the GEM (Gravity Electro-Magnetism) Unification Theory” STAIF II, Albuquerque, NM February (2012).

“A Derivation of the Newton Gravitation Constant and the Proton Mass From the GEM Unification Theory of Baryon-Genesis.”  Journal of Cosmology Volume 17, 2011.

“The Value of the Gravitation Constant and its Relation to Cosmic Electrodynamics,” IEEE Transactions On Plasma Science, Plasma Cosmology Issue Vol.  35, No. 4. p845.

“The Microwave Electro-Thermal (MET) Thruster Using Water As Propellant” IEEE Transactions On Plasma Science Vol.  33, No. 2. p776, 2005.

“Experimental Investigation of Large-Volume PIA Plasmas at Atmospheric Pressure” IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science, Vol. 26, 2. p145-149, 1998.

“A Theory of the Relaxation of Tokamak Discharges”, Journal of Plasma Physics. Vol 43, part 2, p283, 1990. 

“A highly diamagnetic, finite length Migma equilibrium based on a new adiabatic invariant” Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A, Volume 271, Issue 1, p. 148-150, 1988.

“Analytical Field reversed Equilibria Derived from Self-consistent Particle Orbits, Part II” Nuclear Fusion 26, 1073.

“A Model of Hose Instabilities in Rotating Electron Beams” Phys. of Fluids, 43, 1501, 1986. 




John E Brandenburg, Michael Micci: Compact coupling for microwave-electro-thermal thruster. Mar, 27 2001: US 6205769 (2 citation) 

John E Brandenburg: Microwave electro-thermal thruster and fuel therefor. Research Support Instruments Sep, 28 1999: US 5956938 (1 citation) 

John E Brandenburg: Combined methane decomposition and ammonia formation cell.    University of Central Florida Research Foundation Aug, 22 2006: US 7094384 (1 citation) 

John E Brandenburg: Plasma reactor for cracking ammonia and hydrogen-rich gases to hydrogen. University of Central Florida Research Foundation May, 2 2006: US 7037484 (1 citation) 

John E Brandenburg, Matthew D Fox, Rodrigo H. Garcia: Ethanol based gel fuel for a hybrid rocket engine. University of Central Florida Research Foundation Jan, 24 2012: US 8101032

John E Brandenburg, John F Kline, Joshua H. Resnick: Apparatus and methods for generating persistent ionization plasmas. Physical Sciences Aug, 27 2002: US 6441552

John E Brandenburg, John F Kline, Joshua H Resnick: Apparatus and methods for     generating persistent ionization plasmas. Physical Sciences Jan, 4 2005: US 6838831

John E Brandenburg, John F Kline, Joshua H Resnick: Apparatus and methods for generating persistent ionization plasmas. Physical Sciences Nov, 14 2002: US 20020167277

Awards and Recognitions


* Profiled in Aviation Week and Space Technology Special Issue: Oct 24/31, 2011 as Distinguished Innovator  

* Letter of Commendation for work on the Cobra Judy Replacement Project at CMO while working for Aerospace Corporation in 2001. 

* Recipient of the William Gerald Award in 2006 from the Harlem Children Society for work with underprivileged students

* Recipient of the 2012 Devi Bhargava Award at Madison College for working with students with disabilities

* Recipient of the 2014 TRiO Staff and Faculty Appreciation Award for Effort, Care, and Encouragement of First Generation, Underprivileged, and Disabled Students