Samantha Krening
Ph.D. Student (Robotics)
Montgomery Knight Building
270 Ferst Drive
Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Samantha is a Robotics/Aerospace Ph.D. student in the Cognitive Engineering Center at Georgia Tech. She is researching interactive machine learning - making it so a normal person can intuitively teach a robot how to do things. 

For three years, Samantha worked as an engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. As an attitude control engineer for the Cassini spacecraft, Sam controlled where Cassini pointed. She created commands that executed onboard Cassini for science observations, orbit trim maneuvers, and engineering activities. Sam also developed an early-warning system to monitor Cassini’s aging thrusters. Controlling a multi-billion dollar robot orbiting distant worlds was an incredible experience. 

Before working at JPL, Samantha received both her M.S. and B.S. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder, specializing in astrodynamics and nonlinear control. Sam’s M.S. thesis focused on relative position, attitude, and skewness controls for autonomous spacecraft using one camera.



S. Krening, “Estimation of Gravitational Parameters of Saturnian Moons Using Cassini Attitude Control Flight Data,” AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference, Boston 2013. 

S. Krening and H. Schaub, “Visual Spacecraft Relative Motion Control using Higher Order Geometric Moments,” University of Colorado at Boulder, 2011.


Recent Projects

ONR - Interactive Machine Learning

We are interested in machines that can learn new things from people who are not Machine Learning (ML) experts. We propose a research agenda framed around the human factors (HF) and ML research questions of teaching an agent via demonstration and critique. Ultimately, we will develop a training simulation game with several nonplayer characters, all of which can be easily taught new behaviors by an end-user.

Map of Cognitive Engineering Center

Cognitive Engineering Center (CEC)
Georgia Institute of Technology
270 Ferst Drive
Atlanta GA 30332-0150