Matthew Cannella

Matthew Cannella

Matt Cannella (NSF Fellow) is a Master's candidate in both Aerospace Engineering Sciences and Engineering Management. Matt's research interests include innovative new space propulsion component technology.


  • MS, Aerospace Engineering Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, May 2013 (exp)
  • ME, Engineering Management, University of Colorado, Boulder, May 2013 (exp)
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, Dec 2009
  • BS, Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo, the State University of New York, Dec 2009

Teaching Experience

  • Invited Lecturer for Spacecraft Engineering in the Department of Engineering at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia
  • Guest lecturer for ASEN4013 (Foundations of Propulsion) in Spring 2011, 2012
  • Guest lecturer for ASEN5158 (Commercial Spaceflight Operations) in Fall 2011, 2012

Research & Work Experience
Jan 2011 - Present: Research Assistant
Busemann Advanced Concepts Laboratory, University of Colorado, Boulder
Research assistant working on hybrid rocket propulsion design, liquid rocket engine component research and development.

Aug 2010 - May 2011: Assistant Project Manager
Hybrid Sounding Rocket Project, University of Colorado, Boulder
Managed the schedule and budget for a graduate project. Led the oxidizer subsystem and provided expertise for testing and operations.

Aug 2010 - Dec 2010: Teaching Assistant
ASEN2002 Introduction to Thermodynamics and Aerodynamics, University of Colorado, Boulder
Teaching assistant for an introductory class to the fundamental principles and concepts of thermodynamics and fluid dynamic systems. Duties included holding recitation sessions and evaluating students' work.

Jan 2010 - May 2010: Engineering and Development Intern
Masten Space Systems, Mojave, CA
Designed a 10 lbf Liquid Oxygen/Isopropyl Alcohol RCS Thruster. Design included innovative proprietary experimental injector type. Completed efficiency research on Pintle-style rocket injectors. This included the design and construction of a cold flow test stand, calibration of system, and collection of data to determine performance parameters and overall efficiency. Designed and constructed upgrades and repairs to a 1000 lbf rocket engine test trailer. This included structural improvements and increased accessibility to propellant fill ports.

Selected Awards
2012 - Graduate with Honors, International Graduate Summer School in Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Beihang University (Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics), Beijing, China.
2011 - AIAA Foundation Rocket Propulsion/Propellants and Fluids Graduate Research Award
2011 - SEDS-USA Todd B. Hawley Award for Leadership Excellence
2011 - 2013 - National Science Foundation Graduate Researchers Fellowship Program Fellow
2010 - 2011 - NASA Graduate Student Researchers Program Fellow
2008 - 2009 - James R. McLernon Superior Student Scholar Award
2005 - Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America


  • International Board of Directors Student Liaison, American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics (AIAA), 2011-2013
  • Director of Operations (COO), WeWantOurFuture Educational Outreach Initiative, 2009-present.
  • Applicant Reviewer, NASA Academies Applicant Reviewer Committee, 2010-present
  • Director of Publications, Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS-USA), 2008-2009.
  • Event Coordinator, University of Colorado Boulder SEDS, 2010-present.
  • Event Coordinator, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) at the University of Colorado, 2010-present (member of the AIAA national organization 2009-present).
  • President and Founder, University at Buffalo UBRocketry team, 2006-2009
  • Educational Outreach Volunteer, University at Buffalo SEDS at the Buffalo Museum of Science, 2007-2009
  • Level 1 Certified Member, National Association of Rocketry (NAR), 2007-present

Selected Publications

  1. Cannella, M., et al., “University of Colorado Boulder HySoR project: 2012 Report,” IAC-12,E2,3,6,x13757, 63rd International Astronautical Congress, 1-5 October 2012, Naples, Italy.
  2. Davis, B., Cannella, M., Cheetham, B., Drudi, L., Herman, J., “The Pulse of the Next Generation; what Students are saying about Space Exploration via the WeWantOurFuture Initiative,” IAC-12,E1,1,6,x14374, 63rdInternational Astronautical Congress, 1-5 October 2012, Naples, Italy.
  3. Cannella, M., et al., “Overview of the University of Colorado at Boulder Hybrid Sounding Rocket Project (HySoR),” AIAA 2012-4020, 48th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, 30 July- 01 August 2012, Atlanta, Georgia.
  4. Davis, B., Cannella, M., Cheetham, B., “Engaging Global Youth to Participate in Their Future; Expanding the We Want Our Future Initiative to an International Audience,” GLEX-2012,12,2,7,x12380, Global Space Exploration Conference, 22-24 May 2012, Washington, D.C.
  5. Cannella, M. S., “WNIST Data Review: Determining Nondimensional Dependence on Intact Length of Co-flowing Rocket Injector Elements,” 50thAIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting, 9-12 January 2012, Nashville, Tennessee.
  6. Cannella, M., et al., “The We Want Our Future Initiative, Providing an Educational Activity which Merges Artwork, Creativity and Space Exploration,” IAC-11,E1,5,15,x10145, 62ndInternational Astronautical Congress, 3-7 October 2011, Cape Town, South Africa.