Colonel Tim Sands Ph.D. Dean & Senior Military Professor

Colonel Tim Sands Ph.D.

Colonel Tim Sands is Dean & Senior Military Professor at the United States Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Dayton, Ohio. The Dean serves professional continuing education as a non-tenured faculty member at AFIT holding an administrative post and reports to the Chancellor and Provost of AFIT.  The Dean serves as the campus-wide advocate for continuing education in nuclear studies & space studies, providing leadership to fifty-four faculty and staff personnel in two departments at operating locations in Colorado and New Mexico to achieve the highest quality of teaching & learning and also promotes academic success for the university's diverse population, ensuring options for all students to engage in a challenging array of educational opportunities, from foundational courses to advanced research.

To meet the university's mission, the Dean is guided by 5 major goals: 1) To promote and ensure standards of excellence across curriculum 2) To create and administer innovative academic programs & capstone experiences extending beyond the scope of a single department, division or school 3) To support a diverse population of students in their pursuit of academic excellence 4) To assist faculty and students in the improvement and assessment of teaching and learning and 5) To promote AFIT access & academic success across the Department of Defense, including collaboration with other defense universities and schools.

Colonel Sands entered active military service in 1993 as program manager for the acquisition of space systems. He later became a career electronic warfare officer and flew combat missions in the B-52 heavy bomber in Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He served as a weapons officer, an instructor, an evaluator, a professor, and a researcher and held staff assignments at Air Force Materiel Command, Air Combat Command, Seventh Air Force, the Air Force Exchange Program, and DARPA.


Engineer Degree (Tau Beta Pi)  Mechanical Engineering        Columbia University
Master of Science                Mechanical Engineering        Stanford University
Doctor of Philosophy            Astronautical Engineering    Naval Postgrad School


Graduate Certificate, Guidance and Control, Stanford University
Graduate Certificate, Astronautical Engineering, UCLA
Master of Engineering, Space Operations, University of Colorado
Master of Science, Space Studies, University of North Dakota
Service Chief's Fellow (with corr. AWC), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Intermediate Developmental Education (with corr. ACSC), Naval Postgraduate School
Squadron Officers School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
Lieutenant's Professional Development Program, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA
Defense Language Institute, Mandarin-Chinese Language course(s), 2008 - 2014

2016 -  Present, Dean, Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), OH

2013 - 2015 Associate Provost, Chief Academic Officer, Senior Military Professor, AFIT
2010 - 2013 Military Faculty, Space Systems, Naval Postgraduate School, California

2010 - 2011 Service Chief's Fellow, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency

2009 - 2010 Deputy Division Chief, Combat Plans, Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea

2008 - 2009 CSAF Strategic Studies Group SME, Pentagon, District of Columbia

2007 - 2009 Chief of Plans, Electronic Warfare Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida

2007 - 2008 CSAF Cyberspace Taskforce SME, Pentagon, District of Columbia

2004 - 2007 PhD Student, Naval Postgraduate School, California

2002 - 2004 Assistant Operations Officer, 96th & 11th Bomb Sq., Barksdale AFB, LA

2001 - 2002 Flight Commander, 20th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, LA

2000 - 2001 Assistant Flight Commander, 20th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, LA

1998 - 2000 Electronic Warfare Officer, 20th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, LA

1997 - 1998 Student Navigator (Electronic Warfare), Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

1995 - 1997 Propulsion Engineer, Space and Missiles Systems Center, CA

1993 - 1995 Spaceflight Mission Planner, Space and Missiles Systems Center, CA


Aeronautical Rating:  Senior Navigator (Electronic Warfare Officer)
Flight Hours:  > 1900 hours with > 600 combat in Serbia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq
Weapons Systems:  B-52H, AN/USQ-163 Falconer AOC, T-1A, T-34C
Other qualifications:  Navy SCUBA, Army Air Assault, OPFOR Academy 
        Army Foreign Weapons School,
USAF Weapons School (B-52)
        Combat Flight Instructor's Course (Top graduate)
        Senior Acquisitions Badge
            -- APDP Level III in PM, level III in T& E, level II in SPDRE
            -- Joint Qualification Board-Select for MDAP Key Leadership Positions

International Scholar Laureate, Golden Key International Honor Society
Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society
AF Theodore Von Karman Award - most outstanding contribution to national defense
Air Combat Command Engineering Achievement Award
Air Force Materiel Command International Award (Acquisition Program Management)
The Air Medal (four awards)
Aerial Achievement Medal (two awards)
Air Force Combat Action Medal
Kosovo Campaign Medal with battle star
Iraq Campaign Medal with two battle stars
Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two battle stars
Korea Defense Service Medal
NATO Medal 
Sands, T.,  " Singularity Minimization, Reduction, and Penetration" , Journal of Numerical Analysis and Applied Mathematics,  Accepted to (1)1, Sept. 2016.

Sands, T., Mihalik, R., " Outcomes of the 2010 and 2015 Nonproliferation Treaty Review Conferences" , American Journal of Social Science Research, Submitted to (2)2, Jul. 2016.
Sands, T., Mihalik, R., " U.S. Strategies for Combating Islamic State" , Social Science,  Submitted  to (2)2, Jul. 2016.
Nakatani, S., Sands, T., " Autonomous Damage Recovery in Space" , International Journal of Automation, Control and Intelligent Systems, Accepted for (2)2 Jul. 2016.
Sands, T., Kim, J., Agrawal, B., " Experiments in Control of Rotational Mechanics" , International Journal of Automation, Control and Intelligent Systems,  2(1) 9-22, Jan. 2016.

Sands, T., " Improved Magnetic Levitation via Online Disturbance Decoupling" , Physics Journal, 1(3) 272-280, Nov. 2015.

Nakatani, S., Sands, T., " Simulation of Spacecraft Damage Tolerance and Adaptive Controls" , Proceedings of IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2014
Sands, T., Kim, J., Agrawal, B. " Method and Apparatus for Singularity Avoidance for Control Moment Gyroscope (CMG) Systems Without Using Null Motion" , Patent Pending (61/840,010), June 27, 2013.
Sands, T., " Physics-Based Control Methods," book chapter in Advancements in Spacecraft Systems and Orbit Determination, In-Tech Publishers, pp. 29-54, 2012.
Sands, T., " Advances in Additive Digital Manufacturing" , Journal of Engineering and Technology, 2(1) 50-81, 2012.
Sands, T., Kim, J. J., Agrawal, B. N., " Nonredundant Single-Gimbaled Control Moment Gyroscopes," Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 35(2) 578-587, 2012.
Sands, T., " Physics-Based Automated Control of Spacecraft" AIAA Space 2009, AIAA #167790, 2009.
Sands, T., " Control Moment Gyroscope Singularity Reduction via Decoupled Control," Proceedings of the IEEE  SEC, 2009.
Sands, T., " Satellite Electronic Attack of Enemy Air Defenses," Proceedings of the  IEEE SEC, 2009.
Kim, J., Sands, T., Agrawal, B., " Acquisition, Tracking, and Pointing Technology Development for Bifocal Relay Mirror Spacecraft" SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6569, 656907, 2007.
Sands, T., " The Electronic Battle - Requirements and Capabilities" Proceedings of the 44th AOC International Symposium and Convention,  2007.
Sands, T. " Fine Pointing of Military Spacecraft," PhD dissertation, Naval Postgraduate School, 2007.
Sands, T., Kim, J., Agrawal, B., " 2H Singularity-Free Momentum Generation with Non-Redundant Single Gimbaled Control Moment Gyroscopes," Proceedings of  IEEE Conference on Decision & Control, December 2006, pp. 1551-1556.
Sands, T., " Space-Based Electronic Warfare" Proceedings of the 43rd AOC International Symposium and Convention, Technical Track 3, 2006.
Sands, T., " Space-Based Electronic Attack" USAF Weapons School Paper, June, 2002. Available at
EO 2402 Signals and Systems
EC 4362 Adaptive Controls
ASYS 625 Nonlinear Systems Analysis & Control
AE 2820 Spacecraft Structures
AE 3815 Spacecraft Rotational Mechanics
AE 3818 Advanced Mechanics and Orbital Robotics
AE 4362 Astrodynamics
AE 4901 Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control
ME 2502 Dynamics
ME 4901 Advanced Navigation
Chinese technical translation
Chinese affairs
Korean affairs
Dynamics & control flexible spacecraft structures
Spacecraft attitude control with control moment gyroscopes
Adaptive controls
Nonlinear controls
Physics-based modeling
System identification
Model Predictive Control