Dmitry Savransky

Director of Graduate Studies for Theoretical and Applied Mechanics
Associate Professor
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Professor Savransky received his PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, where he was a member of the High Contrast Imaging Laboratory. After completing his doctorate in 2011, he became a postdoctoral fellow at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory where he assisted in the integration and testing of the Gemini Planet Imager and participated in the planning of the Gemini Planet Imager Exoplanet Survey.

Research Interests

Professor Savransky’s research is comprised of a variety of problems related to the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets. These include investigations of advanced control and estimation for active wavefront control systems; computer vision and machine learning applications for automated optical system alignment and astronomical image post-processing; optimal scheduling for autonomous space observatories and ground-based surveys; and statistical analysis of large astronomical surveys.

Teaching Interests

Dynamics and control systems, celestial mechanics, computational and numerical methods.

Selected Publications

  • Savransky, D., Garrett, D. (2015) WFIRST-AFTA coronagraph science yield modeling with EXOSIMS. Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems, 2(1):011,006. doi:10.1117/1.JATIS.2.1.011006
  • Fang, J., Savransky, D. (2016) Automated alignment of a reconfigurable optical system using focal-plane sensing and Kalman filtering. Applied Optics, 55(22):5967–5976. doi:10.1364/AO.55.005967
  • Garrett, D., Savransky, D. (2016) Analytical formulation of the single-visit completeness joint probability density function. The Astrophysical Journal, 828(1):20. doi:10.3847/0004-637X/828/1/20
  • Fang, J., Savransky, D. (2018) Wavefront reconstruction with defocus and transverse shift estimation using Kalman filtering. Optics and Lasers in Engineering, 111:122 – 129. doi:10.1016/j.optlaseng.2018.07.006
  • Gascón, C., Savransky, D., Sureda, M. (2020) Analytic stability maps of unknown exoplanet companions for imaging prioritization. The Astronomical Journal, 160(2):84. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ab9b21
  • Soto, G. J., Savransky, D., Morgan, R. (2021) Analytical model for starshade formation flying with applications to exoplanet direct imaging observation scheduling. Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems, 7(2):1 – 32. doi:10.1117/1.JATIS.7.2.021209

See all Publications

Selected Awards and Honors

  • NASA Early Career Faculty Award (NASA) 2019
  • James and Mary Tien Teaching Award (College of Engineering, Cornell University) 2017
  • Wu Prize for Excellence (School of Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton University) 2010
  • Professor Martin Summerfield Memorial Graduate Fellowship 2007
  • Cummins Merit Fellowship for Engineering Graduate Students 2006


  • B.S. (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), Cornell University, 2004
  • M.Eng. (Aerospace Engineering), Cornell University, 2005
  • Ph.D. (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), Princeton University, 2011