Dr. Steffes received the S.B. and S.M. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA in 1977, and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, CA, in 1982. His doctoral research at Stanford University concentrated on microwave radio occultation experiments using the Voyager and Mariner spacecraft, with specific interest in microwave absorption in planetary atmospheres.
In 1982, Dr. Steffes joined the faculty of Georgia Tech and is currently a Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research focuses on microwave and millimeter-wave remote sensing and radio astronomy and has been sponsored by NASA, the NSF, the SETI Institute and by industry. He has been involved with numerous NASA missions, including Pioneer-Venus, Magellan, the Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS), the High Resolution Microwave Survey (HRMS), and Juno (Jupiter Polar Orbiter).
- Microwave systems for remote sensing of planetary atmospheres and surfaces
- Laboratory measurements of the microwave and millimeter-wave properties of terrestrial and planetary atmospheres
- Radio Astronomy
- Satellite Communications and Navigation Systems
- Radio spectrum Allocation and Usage
- Non-invasive monitoring of glucose in the human body
- IEEE Judith A. Resnik Award for Space Engineering
- NASA Group Achievement Award (1993)
- Distinguished Reviewer, ICARUS (International Journal of Solar System Exploration)
- Metro Atlanta Young Engineer of the Year (Society of Professional Engineers)
- Chair, National Academy of Sciences, Committee on Radio Frequencies
- Fellow of the IEEE, "for contributions to the understanding of planetary atmospheres."
- Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies
- ECE Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award