Aerospace Engineering Sciences

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Todd Mosher

With a passion for space travel that began in childhood, it’s no surprise that Todd Mosher (MS AeroEngr ’95, PhD ’00) chose a career building spacecraft.

Mosher’s father worked for Martin Marietta at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, so he grew up hearing stories about the robotic spacecraft being built there and the planets to which the vehicles would travel. In his bedroom, with walls bedecked with astronaut wallpaper, Mosher dreamed about going into space.

Jim Hansen

Imagine being tasked with finding a nondescript gray car being driven somewhere in the United States. And imagine that your primary tools for finding that car are a few aircraft and a handful of vehicles of your own.

Jim Voss

Jim Voss has had a unique and varied career, ranging from government service to industry to academia, since earning his master's degree in aerospace engineering at CU-Boulder in 1974.

Corky Townsend

Cornelia "Corky" Townsend (AeroEngr '85) takes her role as chief project engineer for Boeing's 747 Program very seriously. After all, it's a big responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone who flies a 747 jetliner. According to Boeing, 100,000 people are in the air in 747s at any given time of day.

But Townsend also loves the idea of designing airplanes and is awed by their grandeur. "They're these big—huge—things," she says. "We walk past the airplanes every day, and it's really magical because they can take you around the world."

Daniel Kubitschek

In 1986, as a Green Mountain High School senior in Lakewood, Colorado, Daniel Kubitschek watched the spacecraft Voyager's encounter with Uranus on NASA TV and decided he wanted to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory one day.

One of four brothers to earn CU-Boulder engineering degrees, Kubitschek navigated his way through a bachelor's degree (MechEngr '90), a stint at the Applied Physics Laboratory in Maryland, and two graduate degrees (MS AeroEngr '94, PhD '97) before landing at JPL in the fall of 2000.

Brian Argrow
For Professor Brian Argrow, being an aerospace engineer is about combining the excitement of science with the knowledge and skills to take a design project from conception to completion.  A passion for teaching drives him to implement the most effective ways to teach and to expand experiential opportunities for students.
Kirstyn Johnson

Colorado native Kirstyn Johnson would love to be an astronaut.  As junior in aerospace engineering sciences at CU-Boulder, she has been gaining the experience she needs to follow her dream by working at BioServe Space Technologies.  She helped to develop hardware for STS-134, the second-to-last space shuttle to the International Space Station.

Donna Gerren

One glance at the office of Donna Gerren, PhD, and you get a good idea of what she’s passionate about. Photos and models of airplanes of all kinds grace the walls and bookshelves many are gifts from grateful students.

David Klaus

Professor David Klaus understands first-hand why many students in aerospace engineering sciences aspire to be astronauts. He himself was an astronaut candidate finalist in 1998 and 2000.

"I've been fascinated by human space exploration since I was a young kid," Klaus says, "and feel fortunate to be able to play a role in bringing it about."

Lee Jasper

During his senior year in the aerospace engineering program at CU-Boulder, Lee Jasper was part of a team of students that partnered with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on development of a “mother-daughter” rover concept, a platform for the future exploration of Mars that included a “mother” base ship and two explorer vehicles known as “daughters.”

The student project led to an internship at JPL last summer, during which Lee got to work on the system engineering for a Mars rover planned for launch in late 2011.

Jonah Kisesi

Jonah Kisesi wants to be a college professor someday, but first he’d like to work in the aerospace industry and get involved in efforts to help those who are less fortunate in the world. As a PhD student focusing on remote sensing at CU-Boulder, he is taking steps toward all of those goals.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Jonah is now using the space-based global positioning system (GPS) to identify irregularities in the ionosphere, the portion of the Earth’s upper atmosphere that is ionized by solar radiation.

Jean Koster

Hybrid vehicles, which optimize the use of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine for power needs and energy conservation, may soon take flight with the leadership of a new company, Tigon EnerTec, spun off from CU-Boulder's aerospace engineering sciences department.

An engineering innovation that was initially dismissed by the aerospace community due to weight constraints and a long design cycle, the hybrid engine aircraft system is now gaining momentum thanks to the persistence of CU Professor Jean Koster and some enthusiastic students.

Evan Thomas

When Evan Thomas was the editor of his high school newspaper, he traveled with classmates to Cuba and Vietnam to write about the lives of students outside the U.S. Those experiences have since become the foundation for a long-term commitment to helping people in the developing world.

Alijah Smith

Alijah DeAndre Smith spent hours as a child building things with Legos. Now a junior majoring in aerospace engineering sciences at CU-Boulder, he is delighted to be working on real spacecraft.

“I have always loved space,” says Alijah. “My mom took me to Florida when I was in fourth or fifth grade and I stood under the Saturn 5, an impossibly huge rocket.”

Kristian Hahn

Kristian Hahn and Karina Ogilvie both describe it as the best day of their lives.

The aerospace engineering students were part of a five-student CU-Boulder team selected to participate in NASA’s 2009 Microgravity University flight season.

For a week in June, they and teammates Christopher Chavez, Steven Ramm, and Swarandeep Singh worked with NASA engineers and specialists at Johnson Space Center to ready their Wilberforce Pendulum Microgravity Experiment and prepare themselves physiologically for the rigors of flight on the Zero-G aircraft.

Steve Chappell

Ever since he was a kid growing up in Lake Orion, Michigan, Steve Chappell (MS AeroEngr '03, PhD '06) has dreamed of being an astronaut or a scientist studying spaceflight. Through the years he has gone to great lengths pursuing that dream, from climbing some of the world's highest mountains to walking on the ocean floor—activities that have helped prepare him for a space-oriented career.

Randall Clark

On his way to becoming a physician, Randall Clark’s (AeroEngr ’78, MD ’82) road to medical school took a detour via aerospace engineering. But the route was more coherent than it might seem.

Clark is an associate professor of anesthesiology at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and interim chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at The Children’s Hospital on the Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, Colorado. His specialty is pediatric cardiac anesthesiology.

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