Jan Osburg is a senior engineer at the RAND Corporation and a Pardee RAND Graduate School affiliate faculty member. His work focuses on defense, aerospace engineering, emergency preparedness, and homeland security. Recent projects involved identifying options for aerial reconnaissance and security during Joint Forcible Entry Operations, assessing the potential of resistance-based deterrence, mitigating the North Korean nuclear and chemical threat, and planetary defense. He has spent significant time as an embedded RAND analyst in Iraq and Afghanistan — six months with MNF-I in Baghdad in 2009, three months with CFSOCC-A in Kabul in 2010, and two months with the Asymmetric Warfare Group in Bagram in 2013.
Osburg previously worked as a research engineer at the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory, Georgia Institute of Technology, where he led projects that applied probabilistic methods and tools to the conceptual design of aerospace systems.
As a 2006-2007 fellow of Georgia Tech's Sam Nunn Security Program, he studied national security and emergency preparedness issues. Projects included developing proactive policy options for the North Korean nuclear crisis, creating an interactive visualization capability for nuclear blast effects, and modeling the impact of disasters on cellular communications infrastructure.
Osburg has participated in multiple expeditions to Mars-analog research facilities, with roles ranging from crew commander and station engineer to health and safety officer. While pursuing his doctorate at the University of Stuttgart, he worked as a research engineer and lecturer and directed international, interdisciplinary workshops on the conceptual design of inhabited space systems.