Study of diffusive transport phenomena in non-equilibrium hypersonic flows
Chiara Amato is a Ph.D. student in Computational Hypersonic fluid dynamics at the University of Minnesota. She was born and raised in the south of Italy. She graduated with an M.S. in Aerospace engineering at the University of Pisa. The main focus of her thesis was molecular gas dynamic effects in rarefied flows, and it was in collaboration with the University of Urbana-Champaign, where she spent a year as a research scholar. Before moving to Minnesota for her Ph.D., she spent a summer as an intern at the Aero-thermodynamic branch at NASA Ames. In the four years spent as a graduate student at the University of Minnesota (UMN), Chiara has been working on her project studying the transport properties and diffusion effects in hypersonic flow around blunt objects. In the meantime, she got involved Chiara has been a graduate coordinate for WISE (Women In Science and Engineering) in the college of science and engineering (CSE) for the last two years. She was nominated women graduates coordinator of the Aerospace department for the CSE in 2019. Furthermore, Chiara participated in creating the UMN WoAA (Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics) chapter in 2019, and she is currently the president.
Reduced-order modeling and applications in unsteady aerodynamic systems
Katherine Asztalos will graduate this May 2021 with a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, where her dissertation research was primarily concerned with modeling the aerodynamic response to impulsive active flow control. She received her BS in Aerospace Engineering and M-Eng in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the same university in 2014 and 2016. She was awarded the Achievement Reward for College Scientists Foundation Joanna Stein Memorial scholarship from 2016-2018, and a fellowship from the Illinois Space Grant Consortium in support of her dissertation research. Her research interests include improving reduced-order modeling methodologies for robust prediction in studying fluid flows. She is a current research intern at Argonne National Laboratory in the Energy Systems division. Outside of research, she enjoys gardening, swimming, and mathematics.
DR. MANUEL AZUARA ROSALES
Plasma-based thruster for atmospheric satellite applications
Manuel is an aerospace engineer originally from Mexico, with over ten years of combined experience in research, industry, teaching, and start-up. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a PhD in Aeronautics & Astronautics from the University of Washington. His areas of interest are the electric propulsion, plasma physics, high-power electronics, and lightweight aircraft for high-altitude operation. Currently, Manuel is a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Washington, and the CTO of Stratospheric Technologies – a Seattle based start-up dedicated to the development of an atmospheric satellite, powered with a plasma-based, air-breathing propulsion system.
Algorithms for Decision Making and Control of Autonomous Space Robotics
Somrita Banerjee is a Ph.D. candidate in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University in Prof. Marco Pavone's Autonomous Systems Lab. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with minors in Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science from Cornell University in 2017.
Somrita’s current research interests include applying learning and decision-making techniques to the planning and control of space robots (such as rovers on other planets) specifically to promote greater autonomy and risk-sensitive adaptation.
In her free time, Somrita enjoys dancing, playing board games with friends, and going hiking in sunny California.
Towards practical fixed-wing aircraft with electro-aerodynamic propulsion
My name is Arthur Brown. I come from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Engineering Science (Aerospace Engineering major) from the University of Toronto in 2016, and my Masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2018 from MIT. I am now pursuing my PhD, also in Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT.
My PhD research is focused on electro-aerodynamic propulsion: a novel way of generating thrust using electricity. Instead of using propellers, an electro-aerodynamically powered aircraft uses high voltages to ionize and accelerate the air around it, generating thrust. The proposed system promises zero fossil-fuel emissions. It also has no moving parts, which (in theory) translates to reduced noise and maintenance costs. I also do research on Urban Air Mobility (UAM): an envisaged air taxi service, using electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) aircraft with 1-4 seats for trips of approximately 100 km (62 miles) or less. In theory, UAM offers several advantages over existing transport solutions, including: reduced travel times, lower costs, and reduced environmental impact (in terms of noise, climate, and air quality).
I hope to become a professor someday, with aircraft design as a core theme of my research group. Disciplines of interest include systems engineering, aeroacoustics, electric & hydrogen propulsion, multidisciplinary design optimization, and program management. In my spare time, I am an avid fisherman; I also enjoy long-distance running, basketball, military history, karaoke, and chess.
Electrospray Thrusters for Bimodal Space Propulsion
Amelia (Mia) is a Ph.D. student at MIT AeroAstro working in the Space Propulsion Laboratory under Prof. Paulo Lozano. She received her B.S. in mechanical engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2019 and M.S. in aeronautics and astronautics from MIT in 2021. She is a NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities (NSTGRO) 2020 fellow and her research focuses on electrospray thrusters, specifically the integration of electrospray and chemical propulsion into a bimodal propulsion system for small satellites. Mia is involved on the AeroAstro Diversity, Inclusion, & Innovation Committee and is a member of Graduate Women in Aerospace Engineering (GWAE). In her free time, Mia enjoys painting, baking, and biking through the city.
Experimental fluid dynamics research on unmanned aircraft systems
Darius Carter hails from Richmond, Virginia, and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the University of Virginia (UVA). He graduated from Highland Springs High school in Henrico County in 2013. He then enrolled at UVA, where he graduated with his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Material Science in 2017. As a Ph.D. student, his research focuses on unmanned aerial vehicles and their safety when flying near boundaries. He currently is the Co-President of Black Graduate and Professional Student Organization, Recruitment Chair for the Mechanical & Aerospace Graduate Student Board, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences (SEAS), Co-Chair for UVA’s Graduate Recruitment Initiative Team, Member of the search committee for the Dean of Engineering, and Academic Mentor with UVA Athletics. Outside of school and research, he is a dedicated member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the National Society of Black Engineers. He enjoys hanging out with friends, adventures, and traveling. He has a small dog named Forrest. He enjoys watching and playing sports, especially basketball. He desires to inspire the next generation of black engineering students.
A new algorithm for efficient sensitivity analysis of chaotic systems
Nisha Chandramoorthy is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering and Computational Science and Engineering at MIT advised by Prof. Qiqi Wang. She has worked with her advisor on developing a new algorithm for sensitivity analysis of chaotic dynamical systems such as turbulent flows. This algorithm, known as space-split sensitivity or S3, provably converges to the linear response of chaotic systems to small parameter perturbations, which is essential for downstream computational applications such as optimization, uncertainty quantification and inverse problems and also for fundamental understanding of chaotic phenomena. The S3 algorithm is scalable to high-dimensional chaotic systems and thus potentially enables grid adaptation, shape optimization and flow control for design of next generation engines and high-maneuverability vehicles that are robust to chaotic aerodynamic and thermoacoustic instabilities. She will be joining the Institute for Data, Systems and Society at MIT as a postdoc in the fall, where she will be working with her advisors Prof. Youssef Marzouk and Prof. Stefanie Jegelka on taking the dynamical systems approach to foundational problems in scientific machine learning and data assimilation.
Missile attitude determination using computer vision and spiral pattern designs
A Tennessee native, Rebecca Cleek was raised in Nashville, TN and graduated from Tennessee Tech University with both a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering and master's degree in Business Administration. She discovered her love of aeronautics while working at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex, where she participates in the test and analysis of turbine engines and rockets. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of TN Space Institute with an anticipated graduation date of May 2023. Her dissertation focuses on missile attitude determination of high-speed imagery using spiral pattern designs and computer vision software.
Machine Learning to Support Aerospace Systems
Samantha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Aerospace Systems Design Lab (ASDL) at Georgia Tech, graduating in December of 2021. Samantha received her B.S. from Manhattan College in civil engineering (2016), as well as an M.S. in civil engineering (2018) and an M.S. in aerospace engineering (2019) from Georgia Tech. Samantha’s dissertation research focuses on detecting anomalies using open-sourced ADS-B trajectory data and leveraging clustering-based machine learning and deep learning techniques, with an emphasis on detecting anomalies at the terminal airspace system level. During her time at ASDL, Samantha has also developed a discrete event simulation to model the U-2 fleet’s sustainment operations as well as developed an interactive dashboard to display the simulation results to support robust decision-making.
DR. KWASSI DEGUE
Can we meet privacy challenges while advancing intelligent transportation systems?
Kwassi Degue is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro) at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is affiliated with the Dynamics, Infrastructure Networks, and Mobility (DINaMo) Research Group, advised by Prof. Hamsa Balakrishnan. He received the Dipl. Eng. degree from Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Ingenieurs, Togo, in 2011, the M.Sc. degree in automatic control from the University of Lille, France, in 2015 and the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, Canada, in 2021. He was a Visiting Researcher at MIT from February to May 2020. From April 2017 to April 2018 and from October 2018 to October 2019, he was a Visiting Researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology and at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). His research interests include privacy-preserving information processing, security in cyber-physical systems, stability analysis, observer design and control of uncertain nonlinear and linear systems, with applications to intelligent infrastructure systems and air traffic management. He is also a part-time Senior Consultant (Data Privacy Expert) at DevTech Systems, Inc. and at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Kwassi was a recipient of the Mitacs Globalink Research Award in 2020, the FRQNT (The Fonds de recherche du Quebec-Nature et technologies) doctoral excellence scholarship from 2019 to 2020 and the Fondation Pierre Arbour doctoral excellence and leadership scholarship from 2018 to 2020. He was also a recipient of the DAAD (The German Academic Exchange Service) research fellowship in 2018, the FRQNT International Doctoral Internships-Energy/Digital/Aerospace Merit Fellowship from 2017 to 2018 and the European Commission’s Erasmus Mundus Master Scholarship for outstanding students from African countries from 2013 to 2015.
PAULA DO VALE PEREIRA
Follow the water to find and foster life outside the Earth
Paula do Vale Pereira is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Space Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation Laboratory at MIT, where she works on developing new capabilities for space-based exploration systems. Her Ph.D. work focuses on the thermomechanical development of probes for the exploration of Ocean Worlds, such as Europa (moon of Jupiter) and Enceladus (moon of Saturn). Paula has worked on the design, manufacturing, assembly, integration, and testing of an imaging satellite currently in space and is going to send two more CubeSats into orbit this year. Paula is a hands-on engineer passionate about machine shops and bringing ideas into life. An active voice in advocating for diversity, inclusion, and high-quality research advising, Paula has been involved with numerous student groups and NGOs across and outside of MIT, impacting younger generations of multiple continents. Paula is an Amelia Earhart Fellow, a TVML Fellow, an Aviation Week/AIAA 20 Twenty, an MIT Graduate Woman of Excellence, and a member of the AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee. Paula has received a B.S. (Summa cum Laude) and an M.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the Federal University of Santa Catarina (Brazil), a B.S. in Management from the State University of Santa Catarina (Brazil), and an M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from MIT.
Human-compatible AI and Earth observations satellites for designing sustainable system
Neil Gaikwad is a doctoral scholar at the MIT Media Lab, specializing in Human-compatible AI and Public Policy for Sustainable Systems. His research focuses on the participatory design, implementation, and governance of novel Human-compatible Geospatial AI to study and inform equitable public policy decisions underpinning sociotechnical systems in low-resource environments. Neil designs computational systems that harness human-and-artificial intelligence to map, monitor, and model the impact of climate-induced risks on vulnerable populations, analyzing environmental, economic, and human behavior data emerging from complex systems and Earth remote sensing satellites. He leads the Data-driven Humanitarian Mapping research initiative, and his scholarship brings historically oppressed communities to the center of Artificial Intelligence, Space technology, high-stake policy design.
Neil's research has been published in premier artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction conferences and featured in the New York Times, Bloomberg, WIRED, and Wall Street Journal. He has mentored over 20 students, who have gone on winning prestigious awards (e.g., Apple Ph.D. Fellowship), pursuing careers in research, and publishing influential scholarship that has shifted the discourse on AI fairness. Neil's research, teaching, and professional service have been widely recognized with Facebook Research Fellowship, MIT William Asbjornsen Albert Memorial Fellowship, MIT Graduate Teaching Award, and Karl Taylor Compton Prize, MIT's highest student award. He earned a master's degree from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he worked at the Robotics Institute. For more information about Neil's research, visit his webpage or follow @neilsgaikwad
Research into satellite navigation and control
I was born and raised in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. At the time, there were no college opportunities in Puerto Rico for pursuing my dream of becoming an aerospace engineer, and so, I applied to Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Daytona Beach, Florida. I was accepted into the program and afforded my undergraduate degree by winning the prestigious NASA MUST scholarship. In May 2014, I started collaborating in flight projects at Goddard through a civil servant position at the NASA Goddard Code 564’s Instrument Electronics Development Branch. I contributed to systems architecture and hardware/software development projects. These efforts included working with engineers on miniaturization of onboard electronics for small payloads and interfacing with scientists and engineers to write mission requirements for an x-ray imager (FOXSI). I also designed charge-coupled devices (CCDs) for an ISS payload and worked on smart algorithms for predictive assessment for a phased array antenna scheduler for a beam-forming polarimetric radar. My most important contribution was developing a relative navigation camera system for the Cal-X mission, a distributed mission of two CubeSats, which consisted of a formation flying concept with high pointing accuracy between spacecraft.
After acquiring experience and understanding as part of the NASA Goddard workforce, I was looking for a broader understanding of key players in the global space sector. As a result, I applied and was accepted to the MIT-Skoltech Initiative Program in May 2015. I decided to move to Russia to learn more about mission design and systems engineering. I spent a year and a half in Moscow, starting in August 2015, and worked on my academic coursework in spacecraft design and navigation, human spaceflight, power systems, and space robotics. I conducted research with MIT professor and former Skoltech president, Dr. Edward Crawley, working on various concepts in autonomy of satellite imaging. After completing my master’s degree at Skoltech, I joined the MIT Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Space Systems Lab (SSL) as a PhD student funding my research through the Draper and GEM fellowship programs. Consequently, my current graduate research, under the supervision of my new academic advisor, MIT Professor Richard Linares, intends to develop mission analysis tools consisting of the certification of controllers that guarantee safety in collision avoidance operations using formal methods. Another interest and contribution of my research is to reduce computational complexity in satellite propagation by improving existing techniques of semi-analytic propagation theory.
My goals after completing the PhD program at MIT is to enter the private space industry. I am interested in creating or joining a visionary space startup with passionate engineers working on innovative concepts in space navigation, guidance and control.
DR. DAFNE GAVIRIA ARCILA
Investigation of active thermal control system for small satellites
Dafne Gaviria Arcila is a Research Fellow at The Advanced Technology Unit of National Autonomous University of Mexico. She is currently working on the analysis of the thermal control system of the CubeSat K'OTO to maintain the temperature of the subsystems within the operational limits and avoid permanent damage. She was awarded in 2020 her PhD from the University of Nottingham in England, her research focused on analyzing and understanding the thermal behavior of the lubrication system of new generation aircraft turbines, where she numerically analyzed the mass and heat transfer of oil droplets within aircraft engines. As part of her PhD project She was a recipient of the Zonta International, Amelia Earhart Fellowship in 2017. Because of this recognition, she received in 2018 the Honorable Mention of Carlos Fuentes Award from The Mexican Embassy in the United Kingdom. Dafne is inspired daily by her 10 months daughter and her husband. She loves to play team sports such as Football and She has participated in different activities to influence women to study STEM careers.
DR. JUNYI GENG
Interacting with the environment for autonomous manipulation
Junyi Geng is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Coordinated Science Lab at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign focusing on robotic manipulation for high precision assembly. She earned her Ph.D. (2020) and M.S. (2016) in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and holds a B.S. (2013) degree in Aircraft Design and Engineering from Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. She is enthusiastic about robotics and unmanned aerial system (UAS). She is also interested in computer vision, optimization and machine learning. Junyi is a remote pilot for UAS. She loves flying drones andbuilding robots.
Application of an extended messinger model to ice accretion on complex geometries
Avani Gupta completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Aerospace Engineering, from the Georgia Institute of Technology in December 2016 and August 2019, respectively. She is currently working on her PhD thesis with a focus on the computational modeling of ice accretion on air vehicle components in flight, in the Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory under the guidance of Dr. Lakshmi Sankar. She received the Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship for the doctoral students category in April 2020. She serves as a graduate grader for aerodynamics courses.
In the past, she worked as a graduate intern in Safran’s Research and Development sector in Paris, France on the computational modeling and performance analysis of engine compressors. As an undergraduate student, Gupta represented Georgia Tech at the first Airbus Airnovation Summer Academy, held at TU Delft in 2016. She served as the aerodynamics lead for her senior design team to design, manufacture, and test a small scale UAV for the Boeing AeroPACE Program. The project was recognized as the “Best Overall Project” for the Aerospace Engineering category at the Georgia Tech Capstone Design Exposition. She has also served as a one-to-one tutor and mentor lead at the Center for Academic Success.
DR. ROZHIN HAJIAN
From silent flight of owls to buzzing mosquitoes
Rozhin Hajian is currently a Future Faculty Fellow at Northeastern University and an Associate at Harvard University. In 2018, she joined the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard University as a Postdoctoral Associate. She was also a lecturer at Northeastern University, teaching "Fluid Mechanics" in Fall 2019 & Spring 2020.
Her research area expands through three main complementary research thrusts: Fluid Dynamics, Aerodynamics, and Aeroacoustics. She investigates underpinning principles in the aforementioned areas and biologically-inspired engineering using the proper mathematical and computational tools, including machine learning and data-driven methods.
Dr. Hajian was awarded the 2019 "David Crighton fellowship" from the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), University of Cambridge, UK. She spent summer 2019 in Cambridge, UK.
Before joining Harvard, she was a graduate fellow at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), where she earned her master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing in control systems, in 2014. She has also received her Ph.D. in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics at Lehigh University in 2018.
She completed her undergraduate degree in Chemical engineering from Sharif University of Technology (SUT), Tehran, Iran, in 2011. During her time at Sharif, she was selected as the first female student from Iran to participate in the Young Scientist Exchange Program (YSEP) at Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, from 2009 to 2010.
DR. FUAD HASAN
Multiscale computational mechanics
Fuad Hasan is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and currently working with Dr. Ashfaq Adnan in the Multiscale Mechanics and Physics Lab (MMPL). He earned his doctoral degree in Aerospace Engineering from UTA in the summer of 2020. In his Ph.D., he worked on multiscale mechanics of nonlinear material damage. His research interests lie in multiscale computational mechanics, micromechanics of composite, characterization of nonlinear materials, computational fluid dynamics, finite element method, and fracture mechanics. He also earned two Master’s degrees from the University of Pisa (Italy) and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Towards his Master’s, he worked on experimental aerodynamics, active flow control, and rotordynamic instability. Fuad did his Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the Military Institute of Science and Technology (Bangladesh) and developed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). He is a father of 18 months old daughter and loves to spend time with his family. Other than that, his personal interests include street photography and soccer.
Automated Decision-Making for Model-Based Systems Engineering
Esma Karagoz earned her B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the
Middle East Technical University in Turkey. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in
Aerospace Engineering and an M.S. in Computational Science and Engineering
from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her Ph.D. thesis focuses on developing
a methodology that enables the use of domain structured knowledge to aid
in the decision-making process in engineering design. She is also a Graduate
Research Assistant in the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory at Georgia
Tech. Her primary research areas include model based approaches to system
design, computational decision-making in engineering design applications, and
articial intelligence strategies for complex design problems.
CHAMS EDDINE MBALLO
Model-Based Life Extending Control for Rotorcraft
Chams Eddine Mballo completed a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a B.S. in aerospace engineering both from The State University of New York at Buffalo in 2015. He also received an M.S. in aerospace engineering (2019) from Georgia Tech as well as an M.S. in electrical and computer engineering (2020) from the same institution. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. Simultaneously, he is also pursuing an M.S. in mathematics at Georgia Tech.
At Georgia Tech, Chams performs research in the area rotorcraft flight mechanics and control. More specifically, his work involves development of real time algorithms for estimation of dynamic loads in fatigue-critical components in a rotorcraft, for example, blade root pitch link loads, that are not easily amenable for measurements, and control schemes designed to alleviate component fatigue damage.
Chams’s broad research interests lie in the area of flight mechanics and control, control theory, system identification, reinforcement learning, machine learning, urban air mobility and autonomous air vehicle modeling and control.
Chams received several awards for research and academic excellence, among them are the SUNY Chancellors Award for Student Excellence, the Vertical Flight Foundation Scholarship and the Robert Wolfe Fellowship. He was also featured in the Vertiflite Magazine and in Vertipedia as a rising star and future leader in the field of vertical flight.
Nanofabrication of Astronomical Reflection Gratings
Drew is working toward a PhD in Astronomy & Astrophysics at Penn State University and is expected to defend his dissertation in July 2021. His graduate research has focused on developing technology to enable new observations of astrophysical sources through the design of a suborbital rocket payload and nanofabrication work at Penn State's Materials Research Institute. He also co-founded a startup company to make nanofabricated reflection gratings more accessible for other researchers and applications. Drew hopes to continue his work in technology development and space hardware from both the science and engineering perspectives after earning his PhD.
DR. GLADYS CHEPKIRUI NGETICH, DPHIL
Using wax-based propellants to power small satellites
Gladys is a Rhodes Scholar and a Schmidt Science Fellow. She is currently a Postdoctoral
Fellow at Space Enabled Research Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT. Her
postdoctoral research focuses on wax-based propellants for satellite launch and in-space
propulsion for small satellite missions. Gladys obtained her DPhil from the University of Oxford
where she researched better ways of cooling jet engines. Before the University of Oxford, she
pursued her bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Jomo Kenyatta University of
Agriculture and Technology in Kenya.
Outside research, Gladys enjoys sports. She played soccer for the University of Oxford Women
Soccer team. Gladys is passionate about empowering women. She heads Iluu; an organization
headquartered in Kenya that mentors, inspires, and empowers women and girls.
Gladys has been a recipient of many other notable awards and recognitions including; Kenya’s
Top 40 Under 40 Women, Skoll World Forum Fellowship, International Gas Turbine Institute
Young Engineer Turbo Expo Participation Award, UK Rare Rising Star. Her research, and
academic journey, has been featured in Nature and twice in BBC Science News. Gladys is also
a budding author - she recently published a book titled; The Bold Dream: Transcending the
The role of constrained control for large-scale systems in developing a more sustainable aviation industry
Mateus Pereira is a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. He was born and raised in Brazil, where he received his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, and M.S. in Aeronautical & Mechanical Engineering from the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica. Since 2017, he has been affiliated with the Active Aeroelasticity and Structures Research Laboratory and the Airbus-Michigan Center for Aero-servo-elasticity of Very Flexible Aircraft at the University of Michigan. His research focuses on constrained control development for load alleviation to enable aircraft designs with better performance and reduced emissions. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and taking photos
Modeling NASA heat shields at the microscale level
Sahadeo Ramjatan was born in Guyana, South America and grew up in Orlando, Florida. He received his Bachelor’s and Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida. In addition, he performed internships at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center where he was a recipient of the NASA John Mather Nobel Scholarship. He was selected to attend the prestigious 66th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Lindau, Germany which was dedicated to current developments in physics. He received the Belgian American Educational Foundation Fellowship (BAEF) and studied at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Brussels, Belgium for 1-year to examine the hypersonic radio blackout of the 2016 ExoMars Schiaparelli mission using computational fluid dynamics. He was a recipient of 3rd Place, Outstanding Student Oral Presentation at the 2018 International Planetary Probe Workshop (IPPW) in Boulder, CO. While studying in Europe, he met Professor Schwartzentruber in The Hague, Netherlands during the IPPW workshop and decided to join the Computational Molecular Gas Dynamics (CMGD) laboratory at the University of Minnesota. His current PhD research in Professor Schwartzentruber’s group is on using particle-based methods (DSMC) to study high-temperature reacting flows and hypersonic flows. His work focuses on modeling the ablation of porous materials to help in the design of planetary entry spacecraft heat shields. Sahadeo is pursuing a minor in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies and in his free time, he likes to practice Indian Classical Music and teach children aspects of South Asian cultures. In the future, he hopes to find himself in academia working on cutting-edge research collaborating with leaders from industry and government.
Injector dynamics and mixing in model rotating detonation engine
Shikha Redhal is a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Aerospace Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India. She is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory at UMD. Her current research focuses on studying the fundamental nature of Rotating Detonation Engine (RDE) propulsion concepts. RDE is one of the novel engine concepts, gaining much interest from the aero propulsion industry, including the rocket and airbreathing propulsion community. She is studying the effect of dynamic interaction between propellant injection and the detonation wave inside RDE combustors. This study can be used to obtain qualitative insights into the complex RDE combustor processes and will provide the basis for developing novel and practical detonation-based engines.
She is the recipient of the 2021 Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship and the 2019 Zonta International Amelia Earhart Scholarship. She is also awarded the 2020 UMD Graduate School Outstanding Research Assistant Award.
Outside of academics, she is the Professional Development Chair of the Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics (WoAA) and President of the Aerospace Department Graduate Student Advisory Committee. She serves on the executive board of Graduate Women in Engineering and Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics at UMD. After her Ph.D., she aims to work in research institutions focusing on space propulsion and contribute towards the development of next-generation engines for the aerospace industry.
DR. STEVEN RODRIGUEZ
Reduced-order modeling of meshless methods: Towards enabling HPC-caliber simulations on a laptop
Steven Rodriguez is a Distinguished Isabella and Jerome Karle Research Fellow in the Computational Multiphysics group at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. His primary research area is reduced-order modeling, which focuses on developing mathematical, numerical, and computational frameworks to accelerate high-fidelity simulations and enable HPC caliber simulations on a laptop. His work spans a wide range of reduced-order modeling applications, such as accelerating additive manufacturing simulations, traumatic brain injury simulations, and rotor-craft simulations. Prior to joining the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Steven held a visiting scientist position at the University of Washington hosted by Professor Steven Brunton, and held internships at the NASA Langley Research Center and the CalTech/NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory where he worked on structural acoustics research and on the Mars 2020 rover, respectively. Steven graduated with his Ph.D. in 2018 from Lehigh University under the advisement of Professor Justin Jaworski, where his dissertation research focused on rotor fluid-structure interaction and vortex dynamics.
Living smart in deep space
Annika Rollock is a third year PhD student in Bioastronautics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Originally from New Jersey, Annika completed her BS in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from MIT in 2018, where she also rowed competitively at the Division I level and minored in creative writing. Over the years, Annika has interned at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Boeing’s Aurora Flight Sciences, and Blue Origin. In 2020, she completed and defended her MS thesis on hypersonic dynamics for entry, descent, and landing applications. Her PhD research is on the design of next generation deep space habitats, through which she works with NASA on the HOME (Habitats Optimized for Missions of Exploration) project. In her free time, she loves to run, cycle, hike, bake, read, and write!
Physics enabled data-driven approaches for structural analysis
Aarohi Shah is a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech. currently working with Dr. Rimoli. Her research is focused on developing a hybrid approach using physics-based theories and artificial intelligence to model structural components in a computationally efficient manner.
Aarohi was awarded the Amelia Earhart fellowship in 2019 and recognized globally amongst the top 30 women PhD candidates pursuing aerospace related research. She is also the recipient of the Cost Awareness Vertical Flight Foundation scholarship in 2019 by the Vertical Flight Society. Aarohi has been recognized by Airbus with the Innovation Showdown title in 2016 and has an approved U.S. patent aiming to reduce fuel consumption in civil aviation by optimization of luggage placement.
Aarohi extends her passion towards teaching and research by conducting summer camps for high school students to motivate them towards STEM, student tours for the helicopter simulator and other research labs at Georgia Tech. As she moves forward in her career, she wishes to pursue a career to address challenges in structural mechanics and dynamics when applied to futuristic aerospace vehicles.
Radiation attenuation techniques and physics informed modelling of kinetics for hypersonic flow
Maitreyee Sharma is a graduate student in the Aerospace Engineering Department at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests primarily lie in the modeling of hypersonic flow physics using tools of computational chemistry, statistical mechanics and machine learning. Her research has been featured on the cover of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A. During her graduate school she has won fellowships and awards for her research and leadership qualities. These include the Block Grant Fellowship and Outstanding Asian American Graduate Student Leader Award. Apart from her research, she is a professional Bharatnatyam dancer, an Indian classical art form, an avid bird watcher and a pianist.
PREETHI RAJENDRAM SOUNDARARAJAN
Toward understanding combustion instabilities of annular combustors
Preethi is a Ph.D. student at CentraleSupélec, University Paris-Saclay, France working under Prof. Sébastien Candel. She is a recipient of Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Amelia Earhart Fellowships.
Preethi’s research focuses on thermoacoustic instabilities that occur in high-energy devices such as gas turbines, aircraft, and rocket engines. She studies the fundamental mechanisms that affect thermoacoustic instabilities as a step towards ensuring the safety and robustness of aero-engines.
As most aero-engines feature annular combustion chambers, Preethi performs experiments on a laboratory-scale annular combustor, a scaled-down version of a helicopter engine. She studies the effect of different fuels and swirling injectors on combustion instabilities. Additionally, she carries out experiments on two simplified test rigs – one comprising a single injector of the annular combustor and the other with a linear array of three injectors. Through flame response measurements to external acoustic fluctuations on these setups, she aims to develop lower-order theoretical models to predict the instability characteristics of the multiple injector annular system.
Apart from her Ph.D. research, Preethi is also interested in understanding human behavior and has obtained a master’s degree in Psychology. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and writing poetry.
DR. EDEM TETTEH
Combatting ice in jet engines
Edem completed his Ph.D. in mechanical & aerospace engineering working on a project funded by Rolls-Royce North America Inc., and under the mentorship of Dr. Eric Loth. His research focused on aerospace icing and icephobic surfaces, and aimed at studying icing physics (impact/aerospace ice and static ice), ranging from accretion on small samples and icephobic coatings to adhesion measurement. He is now involved in various projects with a focus on fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, aerodynamics, and controls.
Launching Towards a Future with Urban Air Mobility
Fanruiqi Zeng is a current Ph.D. student at Georgia Institution of Technology majoring in aerospace engineering. She is also pursuing a master’s degree in operations research at Georgia Tech.
Fanruiqi’s research interests lie at the intersection of optimization and algorithm design, with a large focus on developing robust and novel methodologies to enable safe and efficient advanced air mobility operations. Her current research focuses on the drone-truck coordinated routing problem, in which the drone performs specified observation tasks and rendezvouses periodically with the truck to swap its batteries. She is also interested in designing novel trajectory planning policies that will prepare autonomous vehicles for reacting to “black swan” events in a volatile urban environment.
“Make meaningful discoveries and share them with humanity” – Fanruiqi Zeng
Deep neural networks for autonomous robots: From theoretical analysis to experiments
My name is SiQi. I am a fourth-year Ph.D. student from the Dynamic Systems Lab led by Prof. Angela Schoellig at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies. I am also a student affiliate of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The goal of my research is to develop high-performance autonomous systems that can safely learn and adapt in uncertain environments. In the past, we have explored ideas that leverage the expressiveness of deep neural networks (DNNs) for improving the performance of closed-loop control systems. Our research to date includes developing theory-driven design guidelines for training a DNN add-on module to improve the performance of a black-box control system, formulating a training trajectory generation framework for systematically collecting data to train the DNN add-on module, as well as examining the feasibility and the role of system similarity for transferring trained DNN modules from one system to another. Our approaches are demonstrated via quadrotor impromptu tracking experiments, where the quadrotors are required to track arbitrary hand-drawn trajectories.
Microfabricated mirrors will enable more powerful future x-ray space telescopes
Heng Zuo is a Ph.D. student in the MIT Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics and a research assistant at MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics Research. Her research is mainly focused on the design and development of novel methods for fabricating and correcting space optics for high-resolution X-ray space telescopes. Her hobbies include various sports and exercises, music instruments, baking, and star-gazing!