|Alma mater||Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (Phystech Физтех )|
|Occupation||Space Physics and Space Technology, History|
Born in the USSR, Gruntman grew up as a child at the Soviet Tyuratam Missile Test Range, also known as Baikonur Cosmodrome, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. After graduating from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology with a master's degree in physics, he went on to receive his Ph.D. (1984) in physics from the Space Research Institute (IKI ИКИ) of the USSR Academy of Sciences. Gruntman came to IKI as a student in 1973 and then worked there from 1977 on as a research fellow. From 1987 to 1990 he worked as a research fellow in the Institute for Problems in Mechanics (IPM) of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In March 1990 he joined USC in Los Angeles, California as research scientist and became professor in 1993.[failed verification]
In IKI and IPM, Gruntman worked on position-sensitive detectors on the basis of the microchannel plates and techniques for the detection of energetic neutral atoms (ENA imaging) in space. Later he participated in ENA experiments on the NASA IMAGE, TWINS and IBEX missions.
Gruntman's scholarly publications span across astronautics, space mission and spacecraft design, rocketry and spacecraft propulsion, space instrumentation and sensors, solar system galactic frontier, heliospheric and magnetospheric physics, space plasmas and environment, orbital debris, particle and photon analyzers and detector systems, space education, and space and rocket history.
Gruntman has been advocating creation of pure space engineering academic units as an alternative to space degree programs in aerospace departments combining aeronautics and astronautics. He served as the founding chairman, 2004–2007, of such an independent academic unit at USC, currently the Department of Astronautical Engineering. He chairs the department again from 2016 to 2019.
Gruntman also produces educational short videos on satellite orbits and related topics which has attracted more than a million viewers on YouTube. He is a frequent guest speaker on The Space Show.
Gruntman has authored two books on history of rocketry and space technology, published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Blazing the Trail. The Early History of Spacecraft and Rocketry, published in 2004, received the 2006 Luigi G. Napolitano Award from the International Academy of Astronautics. Intercept 1961: The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense (2015) covers the history of the Soviet air defense and missile defense. He also published a book about pioneers of space Robert Esnault-Pelterie and Ary Sternfeld and the words astronautics and cosmonautics which they had respectively introduced in the language of science and engineering.
Gruntman is also the author of "Enemy Amongst Trojans: A Soviet Spy at USC" detailing a Soviet espionage operation in the United States when GRU officer Ignacy Witczak (Litvin) operated under a cover of a student and then instructor at the University of Southern California (USC) in the 1940s.