People

Faculty:

Dr. Hank Pernicka, Director

Dr. Pernicka graduated in 1990 with his Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue. After graduating he joined the San Jose State University as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering. During the summers of 1991 and 1992, he worked as a member of the technical staff at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. In 1996, he became the Director for Project Spartnik at San Jose State University and continued leading that project until he left the university in 2001. Beginning in 2001 he was employed by Missouri S&T (then UMR) as an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering where he founded the Space Systems Engineering Laboratory. His research interests include astrodynamics, orbital mechanics, spacecraft design, satellite attitude dynamics, dynamics and controls. His courses include AE 213, AE 314, and the AE 380/382 senior design project.

Dr. S.N. Balakrishnan

 

Dr. Balakrishnan graduated in 1983 with his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He later joined Missouri S&T (then UMR) and is currently a Professor of Aerospace Engineering and the owner of IST-Rolla, a government contractor. His research interests include guidance, stability, control and estimation, pattern recognition, stochastic processes, optimization, neural network applications to control, and numerical methods.

Dr. Kelly Homan

Dr. Homan graduated in 1996 with his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. After graduating he stayed at UIUC for another year as a post-doctoral Research Associate in Mechanical Engineering. In 1997 he left Illinois to accept a position as Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln until 2001. He then joined the faculty of Missouri S&T as an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include fluid dynamics, heat transfer, thermodynamics of energy systems, heat and mass transfer in buoyant flows, second-law and exergy analysis, numerical simulation of transport phenomena and experimental methods. His expertise in thermodynamics has been of great value to the lab's cold-gas propulsion research group. 

Dr. Kakkattukuzhy Isaac

Dr. Isaac graduated in 1982 with his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He later joined Missouri S&T (then UMR) and is currently a Professor of Aerospace Engineering. His research interests include fluid dynamics and combustion, insect flight, micro air vehicles, aero-structure interaction and control, intelligent aircraft, waveriders, microfluidics, MEMS, active flow and combustion control. His expertise in fluid dynamics and combustion have been of great help to the cold-gas propulsion research group.

Dr. Umit Koylu

Dr. Koylu graduated in 1992 with his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After graduating, he stayed at Michigan for two more years where he worked as a Research Fellow. He then briefly joined the Yale University as a Research Associate before joining the Florida International University as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering. During his time in Florida, he was awarded the National Science Foundation's prestigious CAREER award. Dr. Koylu joined Missouri S&T in 2000 as an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering. His research interests include combustion, particulates, laminar and turbulent non-premixed flames, laser diagnostics, alternative fuels, nano-material characterization, flame radiation, air pollutants, energy and environmental technologies, solid oxide fuel cells, flame-synthesis of nanoparticles, hydrogen fuel, fire safety, and micro-energy systems. His expertise in propulsion systems has been of great help to the cold-gas propulsion research group. 

Dr. David Riggins

Dr. Riggins graduated in 1988 with his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. After graduating, he worked as a Research Scientist for Analytical Services and Materials before joining Missouri S&T (then UMR) as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering. He briefly left Missouri S&T in 1999 when he joined the University of Tennessee at Knoxville as an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering before returning to Rolla as a Professor in 2000. Dr. Riggins has received multiple awards for both his research contributions as well as his teaching. His research interests include fluid dynamics, aerospace propulsion, hypersonics, aerospace engine performance, combustion modelling, computational fluid dynamics, numerical methods, and parallel/multi-computing. His expertise in fluid dynamics and propulsion systems has been of great help to the cold-gas propulsion research group.

Dr. Joshua Rovey

Dr. Rovey graduated in 2006 with his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan. After completing his degree, he went to work for Starfire Industries in Champaign, Illinois as a Propulsion Research Engineer where he worked on the development of electronic propulsion systems for spacecraft. Beginning in 2008 he was employed by Missouri S&T as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering. Dr. Rovey has been published multiple times for topics in electronic propulsion systems. He will be opening an Aerospace Plasmadynamics Laboratory soon at Missouri S&T. His research interests include advanced space propulsion, plasma aerodynamics and flow control, plasma-enhanced combustion, hypersonics/re-entry body plasma interactions, plasma physics and rarefied gas dynamics. His expertise in electronic and plasma propulsion systems will make a great addition to the lab's propulsion group's expertise.

Staff:

Mitch Cottrell

Mitch is a Senior Research Electronics Technician with the Missouri S&T Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. He provides electronics and software design support to any research project within the department which requests it. He is also currently finishing a degree in Computer Science at Missouri S&T and works as part of C&S Consulting Services.

George Green

George is a Research Electronics Technician with the Missouri S&T Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. In addition to his duties assisting departmental research projects, he has also served as Staff Advisor to the Miners in Space team for the past several years.

Graduate Students:

Mike Dancer

Mike is a Ph.D. student in Aerospace Engineering and is part of the Orbit and ADAC subsystems. Mike is from Poplar Bluff, MO and first drove a car at the age of two ("by drove I mean 'gracefully coasted into a tree'"). Mike has wanted to be an astronaut since he was three, and he calls himself a former high school band geek. In addition to his many years of work with the micro-satellite design team, he is also a Research Assistant working for Dr. Balakrishnan on the development of the theta-D orbit controller. In August 2007, Mike and Jason (another SSE lab graduate student) shared the $10,000 first prize in the student paper competition at the AIAA-USU Conference on Small Satellites for their application of the theta-D filter to the MR SAT and MRS SAT mission.

Shawn Miller

Shawn is a Masters student in Aerospace Engineering and was a member of the Propulsion Subsystem and was the Program Manager for the Missouri S&T Satellite Team for the 2007-2008 school year. He is from Poplar Bluff, MO among other places and is currently working on his Ph.D. working with Dr. Rovey in the new Aerospace Plasmadynamics Lab. The majority of his work to-date has been on the experimental cold-gas propulsion system and was a collaborator on a paper which was presented at the 2007 Conference on Small Satellites on refrigerant-based propulsion systems for small satellites. During Summer 2008, he participated in the AFRL Space Scholars program working on space propulsion systems for AFRL Space Vehicles' Hanscom AFB location.

Jason Searcy

Jason is a Masters student in Aerospace Engineering and leads the Attitude Determination and Control (ADAC) Subsystem and is also a member of Orbit. Jason is from Waddy, KY and enjoys Astronomy and Computers and is married to his high school sweetheart. In addition to his many years of work with the microsatellite design team, he is also a Research Assistant working for Dr. Balakrishnan on the development of the theta-D orbit controller. In August 2007, Jason and Mike (another SSE lab graduate student) shared the $10,000 first prize in the student paper competition at the AIAA-USU Conference on Small Satellites for their application of the theta-D filter to the MR SAT and MRS SAT mission.

Joseph Siebert

Joe is a Masters student in Aerospace Engineering and was the lead of the Propulsion subsystem in 2006-2007 and was the lead for the Thrusters Team on Miners in Space for 2008. The majority of his work to-date has been on the experimental cold-gas propulsion system and was a collaborator on a paper which was presented at the 2007 Conference on Small Satellites on refrigerant-based propulsion systems for small satellites. During Summer 2007, he participated in the AFRL Space Scholars program working on space propulsion systems for AFRL Space Vehicles' Hanscom AFB location. Joe is from St. Louis, MO.

Robert Vick

Robert is a Masters student in Computer Science and is the lead of the Command & Data Handling, Communications, and Power subsystems. During the Summer 2008, he participated in the AFRL Space Scholars program working on space electronics and flight software for AFRL Space Vehicles' Kirtland AFB location. Robert is from Kansas City, MO and enjoys playing the violin and programming.

Undergraduate Students:
Yezad Anklesaria
Ben Bettis
Adam Bonney
Greg Book
Michelle Brazel
Erik Buatte
Chris Cole
Jason Daming
Colt Deckard
Brian Donius
Austin Ferguson
Charlie Frankoviglia
Ben Gaither
Randy Gieselman
Amie Grant
Jesse Heinemann
Adam Hoefer
Chris Johnson
Tyler Keil
Errol Leslie
Hannah Longworth-Mills
Dwight Maness
Steve McDonald
Rebecca Merrill
Shanna Montgomery
Jennie Murphey
David Norton
Katie Nisbett
Ryan Pahl
Foo Suan Phat
Michelle Rader
Nicholas Raven
Tonya Sanders
Rachel Shen
Chad Stovall
Nathan Soer
Robert Szalapski
Alvin Tan
Jennifer Thieman
LaQuan Thomas
Michael Tohlen
Aubrey Tuk
Jon Wilmarth
Jonathan Winn
Mark Worth
Sarah Zaremba
Patrick Zerkel