Antonio Pugliese

Antonio Pugliese

Systems Engineering


Dr.  Antonio Pugliese is a researcher in systems engineering with a background in aerospace systems. Prior to joining Cornell, he was a research associate at Stevens Institute of Technology and assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

His past research projects include re-entry vehicles (Italian Aerospace Research Center and UniNa), satellite attitude control (OHB Systems), low gravity experiments (European Space Agency, UniNa, and Université libre de Bruxelles), complexity in cyber-physical systems (Acquisition Research Program at Naval Postgraduate School), and natural language processing (DoD SERC UARC).

Thanks to his experience, Dr. Pugliese is familiar with a set of tools and technologies including Python, LaTeX, and various systems engineering tools. If you are curious about any of those and want to chat about it, feel free to send a friendly email.

Research Interests

Dr. Pugliese has been working on the measurement of complexity in engineered systems. His doctoral and postdoctoral work is part of a larger effort to connect complexity (and risk) to the parameters that regulate the selection of a system architecture: utility and cost. This work has been funded through the Acquisition Research Program at the Naval Postgraduate School.

At Cornell, Dr. Pugliese is starting a new research track focused on autonomy and its effects on orbital assembly of space systems. As space systems become more sophisticated, and the capability to build systems in orbit does not require direct human intervention such as with the International Space Station, the way to develop these systems is going to change. The introduction of highly autonomous systems will create the need for new systems engineering processes that while taking into consideration the peculiarity of these systems, such as the impossibility of on-ground system-level verification activities, will guarantee low risk in the outcome of the development process. This might lead to heavy reliance on model-based analysis for verification, including the need to simulate the interaction of the system components with a large number of autonomous agents.

If you are a student and would like to discuss research opportunities in systems engineering, either in the topics presented above or others of your choice, feel free to send an informal email.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Pugliese is developing the systems integration, verification, and validation course, available at Cornell in fall 2020. The course is an elective within the Master’s of Engineering in Systems Engineering and is available to graduate and undergraduate students within the College of Engineering.

For spring 2021, a course on software systems engineering is under development.

Service Interests

In past Dr. Pugliese has been a member of the following committees:

  • Space Systems Technical Committee of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA SSTC)
  • Graduate Student Academic Integrity Board at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Search Committee for Provost and University Vice President at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • President of the INCOSE local chapter at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Dean’s Advisory Committee in the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens Institute of Technology
  • President of the EUROAVIA local chapter at the University of Naples Federico II

Selected Publications

  • A. Pugliese, R. Nilchiani, Developing Spectral Structural Complexity Metrics, IEEE Systems Journal, IEEEXplore Early Access, 10.1109/JSYST.2019.2912368.
  • A. Pugliese, R. Nilchiani, Acquisition and Development Programs through the Lens of System Complexity, 15th Acquisition Research Symposium, May 9-10, 2018, Monterey, Calif.
  • A. Pugliese, R. Nilchiani, Complexity Analysis of Fractionated Spacecraft Architectures, AIAA SPACE Forum and Exposition, September 12-14, 2017, Orlando, Fla.
  • A. Pugliese, R. Nilchiani, A Systems Complexity-Based Assessment of Risk in Acquisition and Development Programs, 14th Acquisition Research Symposium, April 26-27, 2017, Monterey, Calif.
  • A. Pugliese, R. Nilchiani, A Complex Systems Perspective of Risk Mitigation and Modeling in Development and Acquisition Programs, 13th Acquisition Research Symposium, May 3-5, 2016, Monterey, Calif.

Selected Awards and Honors

  • Young Researcher Award for Photonics in Aerospace: Team award from the Campania Aerospace District (DAC) at the 5th EOS Topical Meeting on Optical Microsystems, 2013.


Ph.D. in Systems Engineering, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, N.J., 2018
M.S. in Systems Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Italy, 2014
M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Italy, 2012
B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, University of Naples Federico II, Italy, 2010