2017 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded six scholarships to students pursuing studies related to the space and satellite industries in 2017.

Damiana Catanoso is currently working on a Joint European Masters in Space Science and Technology in Würzburg, Germany after recently completing an internship at Airbus Defence & Space. She has pursued studies in satellite throughout her academic career with a particular focus in cubesats. Damiana received her bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from La Sapienza in Rome, where she was a member of the Sapienza Aerospace Student Association (SASA) and was eventually elected President of the Aerospace student body. She received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2017.

 

Bryan Chan is the co-founder and president of Night Crew Labs, an engineering technologies and creative media company that specializes in high-altitude balloon projects. Since its founding, the company has achieved many successes, including sending a DSLR camera over San Francisco, California and imaging the aurora borealis from the stratosphere with a high-altitude balloon sent up over Alaska. He furthered his studies and STEM outreach by attending the International Space University’s graduate-level summer program in 2017 and plans to attend additional post-graduate business and entrepreneurial classes at Stanford. Bryan received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2017.

Marcel Kaufmann is currently working on a PhD at the Polytechnique Montréal in Canada, focusing on multi-robot systems for planetary exploration in collaboration with humans. He recently graduated with an MSc in photonics and computer vision from the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt, Germany. Marcel plans to attend the International Space University's Space Studies Program. He received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2017.

 

 

Gedi Minster is currently studying at the University of Southern California / Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering. SSPI supported his participation in this summer’s ISU program. He has been an organizer of Yuri’s Night in Jerusalem for the past two years, engaging young people to envision the possibilities of space. Gedi received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2017.

 

Matthew Morningstar has recently graduated from the Loudoun Academy of Science, a science and technology magnet school in Loudoun County, Virginia. He has been accepted to many prestigious institutions, including MIT, Georgia Tech, Purdue, and Virginia Tech and intends to pursue an Aerospace Engineering degree.  Matthew plans to attend MIT with help from his SSPI scholarship and to pursue a career in the aerospace industry upon graduation. He received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2017.

 

Michael Thompson is currently pursuing a major in Aerospace at Perdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He has dedicated himself to satellite design throughout his school career, taking the lead in a number of projects in his Aerospace Structures course. Michael was also the project lead for the SEDS-USA 2016 satellite design competition at Perdue that sought to identify the challenges to solar power collection satellites. He received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2017.

2016 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded five scholarships to students pursuing studies related to the satellite industry in 2016.

Anne Aryadne Bennett is currently an engineer in the Advanced Technology Lab at Orbital Sciences Corporation. She began working for Orbital right after her undergraduate studies and has been pursuing a Master’s degree in Astronautical Engineering at USC while serving as an engineer. Anne has found her niche in Research and Development work, particularly in conceptual design and pre-PDR proof-of-concept testing. She received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2016.

 

 

Julia Josephine Gull received her LL.B. Honours degree at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands and is currently pursuing an LL.M in Space, Satcom and Media Law at Tel Aviv University in Israel. While at TAU, she has been an active participant in a seminar on Law & Technology, which focuses on intellectual property and cyberlaw. She received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2016.

 

O. Kendall Moore Jr. is currently in his first year of a master’s program in computer science at Mississippi State University. He has worked tirelessly throughout his life to overcome the many barriers to traditional learning he was born with, among them ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome. Kendall hopes to use that experience to help develop a new generation of tools for assessment, communication, and education within the satellite and computer science fields and others. He received a Scholarship from SSPI's Southeast Chapter in 2016.

 

Jillianne Pierce is currently a Government Affairs Associate for the Space Foundation in Washington D.C., where she has worked for two years. She earned her law degree from the University of Miami School of Law after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Central Florida. She received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2016 which will help her attend the International Space University.

 

 

Niccolo Porcari recently completed his undergraduate studies at Cornell and will be pursuing a Masters of Engineering in Astronautics at Cornell this fall. He hopes in the future to design cheaper, lightweight satellites capable of reaching further orbits than most large-scale satellites. To this end, Niccolo completed an internship at a mechatronics startup in Philadelphia, where he worked as a researcher on USB data protocols. He received a Scholarship from SSPI in 2016.

2015 Scholarships

SSPI awarded three scholarships to students pursuing studies related to the satellite industry in 2015.

Noah Corey Fleishman is currently a senior at El Segundo High School in Los Angeles and will be entering the Aerospace Engineering program at California Polytechnic University, Pomona in the fall. His dream is to work as an engineer on the creation of satellites and other space craft. Noah is also interested in developing a program to allow middle and high school students across the country to design and launch functional cube-sats, in the hope that other students will fall in love with the space industry as he has. He received a Scholarship from SSPI's Southern California Chapter in 2015.

 

Joseph Wade Ogburn is currently a senior at Peters Township High School and will be attending the Honors College in Engineering at Virginia Tech University in the fall, where he plans to major in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Mechatronics. His dream is to work with the military to develop smart drones that can explore dangerous areas to save the lives of service men and women. He is also interested in the development of satellite technology for military strategy and defense. He received SSPI's Northeast Chapter Scholarship in 2015.

 

Karlton Wirsing is a senior software engineer at Intelsat and has held the position for three years. During this time, he received Masters degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic and State University as well as an NSA certified graduate certificate in Information Assurance. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He received SSPI's International Scholarship in 2015.

2014 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded three scholarships to students pursuing studies related to the satellite industry in 2014.

Natalia Larrea Brito is a Spanish national - the first to participate in the NASA Academy program, having been sponsored by the European Space Agency. She holds a graduate degree in Telecommunications Engineering from Spain and a Diploma in Astronomy and Planetary Science from the Open University UK. Natalia is graduating from McGill University in Canada with a Masters in Aerospace Engineering. She received SSPI's International Scholarship in 2014.

 

 

Paola Libraro is a 5th year PhD student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University.  She is working on the design of next generation all-electric telecommunication satellites, with funding from a research grant funded by SES. Paola received SSPI's International Scholarship in 2014.

 

Adrienne Rector, a two-time scholarship winner for SSPI, is a senior at Embry-Riddle University in Prescott, AZ. Although she has enjoyed an interest in space-faring technologies since her high school days studying rocketry, her current passion is Space Mechanics, and she hopes to focus her studies on Space Systems and Experimental Space Systems. She hopes eventually to study at an international university to gain a broader perspective on the industry. Adrienne received SSPI's International Scholarship in 2014. 

2013 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded five scholarships to students pursuing studies related to the satellite industry in 2013. 

Cristel Devrieze is a Belgian national of African parentage. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations with Law from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, and a Master’s Degree in the Economics of Science and Innovation, from Barcelona Graduate School of Economics, in Spain. Cristel received SSPI's Extension Scholarship in 2013. 

 

Narayan Dhital holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Earth and Space Sciences from Jacobs University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in ESPACE-Satellite Application Engineering. He received SSPI's International Scholarship in 2013. 

 

Rachael Houston is a freshman at Coastal Carolina University, pursuing a degree in Broadcasting. She received SSPI's Extension Scholarship in 2013. 

 

 

 

Adrienne Rector is a junior at Embry-Riddle University in Prescott, AZ. Although she has enjoyed an interest in space-faring technologies since her high school days studying rocketry, her current passion is Space Mechanics, and she hopes to focus her studies on Space Systems and Experimental Space Systems. She received SSPI's International Scholarship in 2013. 

 

Adam Vigneron, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, is now pursuing a Master’s degree at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, with his studies focused on navigation algorithms for the proposed Polar Communication and Weather mission. He received SSPI's International Scholarship in 2013. 

 

 

Bradley Cheetham is a PhD student in Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder.  He has been involved in working with a NASA space flight mission and is the lead developer of a graduate level curriculum in commercial spaceflight operations which has been bringing industry and academia together to improve education and innovation since 2011. He received the Dean Olmstead Memorial Scholarship from SSPI's Rocky Mountain Chapter.

2011 Scholarship Recipient

SSPI awarded one scholarship to a student pursuing studies related to the satellite industry in 2011.

Amit Puranik graduated from George Mason University’s School of Engineering in 2011. Prior to graduating with a Masters Degree in Telecommunications (Wireless), he received the SSPI-Mid Atlantic Chapter’s scholarship award for his outstanding achievements.

2010 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded three scholarships to students pursuing studies related to the satellite industry in 2010.

Carl Lawhon received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

Manuel Cuba received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

Jonathan Vince received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

2008 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded three scholarships to students pursuing studies related to the satellite industry in 2008.

Nancy Thompson received the Embry-Riddle Scholarship award.

Jun Ki Min received the Perigard Scholarship award.

Rajeev Gadre received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

2007 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded three scholarships to students pursing studies related to the satellite industry in 2007.

Fabio Lattanzi began his studies at the University of Rome, and is now pursuing his PhD at the University of Surrey. He he coauthored and submitted a paper to the 25th American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Communications Satellite Systems Conference in Seoul, Korea, titled “DVB-RCS Mobility Management in Vehicular Satellite Networks.” He received the Broadcasting and Satellite Network Scholarship award from the Broadcasting and Satellite Network (UK Chapter) of SSPI.

Luis Fernando Carrasco is pursuing a Master of Science degree in Communication Technology and Policy at Ohio University, where he has been a student of Dr. Don Flournoy, Professor and Director of the Institute for Telecommunications Studies for Ohio University and SSPI’s Vice President of Education. He received the PSSC Legacy Fund Scholarship award.

Luke T. Davis is a captain in the United States Air Force and is currently pursuing graduate studies at the International Space University in Strasbourg, France. In 2005, he began to work with the X-Prize Foundation, becoming immersed in learning about the challenges of space commercialization. He received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

2005 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded three scholarships to students pursing studies related to the satellite industry in 2005.

Mamta Sodikumar received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

Mohammad Khan received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

Marissa LaCoursiere received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

2004 Scholarship Recipients

SSPI awarded ten scholarships to students pursuing studies related to the satellite industry in 2004.

Aaron Gronstal, International Space University, Strasbourg Campus.  Aaron is a US citizen who decided to pursue a Master of Space Studies in the International Space University. Originally from Carroll, Iowa, Aaron worked with NASA in the Astrobiology Integration Office, before deciding to continue his education at ISU. He received the Irving Goldstein Memorial Scholarship award.

Mischa Kim, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia. A native of Austria, Misha is currently a Graduate Research Assistant and PhD candidate at the Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. This is Mischa Kim’s second scholarship, as he won the Mid-Atlantic Chapter Scholarship last year as well. He received the SSPI Mid-Atlantic Chapter Scholarship award.

Alok Sahoo, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Alok, a native of India, is pursuing his PhD in Computational Sciences at the Center for Earth Observation and Space Research, School of Computational Sciences of George Mason University. He received the SSPI Mid-Atlantic Chapter Scholarship award.

Kevin Murphy, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York.  Kevin hails originally from Londonderry New Hampshire, and is majoring in Engineering at RIT. He hopes to lend his talents in the arena of satellite design as a part of his engineering career. He received the SSPI Northeast Chapter Scholarship award.

Rebecca Kessler, New York University, New York, New York.  Rebecca will be applying her scholarship to matching contributions from New York University, as she participates in the Science and Environmental Reporting Program at New York University, as part of her pursuit of a Master’s degree. Access Intelligence continues its tradition of recognizing enterprising students, especially with an interest in journalism. She received the Via Satellite Scholarship award.

Joël Quincieu, Utah State University, Logan, Utah.  Joël began his academic career in Switzerland, but has continued his studies since 1999 at Utah State University. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, which he hopes will help further his career in small satellite technologies. He received the SSPI International Scholarship award.

Nora Demuth, El Camino College, Torrance, California.  Nora was the recipient of a special award from the PSSC Scholarship Fund. In making this special award, PSSC is recognizing Nora’s efforts in teaching science education, particularly her ambition to find ways to incorporate satellite technology in the classroom.

Bien N. Nguyen, Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California. Bien, who hails from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, is pursuing an MBA degree with an emphasis on Telecommunications Management. His hope is to take his management skills back to Vietnam in order to assist with creating an infrastructure for the satellite industry in that country. He received the SSPI International Scholarshi award.

Melissa Mae Emery, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.  Melissa is a freshman at the University of Washington, and will be pursuing studies toward a career in aerospace engineering. She received the A. W. Perigard Scholarship award.

Charles Smutz, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.  Charles is an undergraduate at Brigham Young University, majoring in Information Technology with a physics minor. Included in his course work are courses in digital communications technology. Charles is the recipient of the Walter Morgan Memorial Scholarship, a one-time scholarship created in memory of the longtime industry champion, Mr. Walter L. Morgan.