Ben Ayton is a fourth year PhD student working in the MERS laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He studies Aerospace Engineering and is associated with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute through the MIT-WHOI Joint Program. Prior to MIT, Ben received Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Physics from the University of Texas at Austin in 2015.

Ben specializes in informative mission planning in support of exploration of dangerous environments and in trajectory planning under complex constraints. His research focuses on artificial intelligence systems which automate the scientific process, choosing measurements to take which consider the trade-off between information value and risk.