February 20 & 21, 2020

This page contains all necessary information for our visiting PhD applicants, the first cohort of applicants to apply to our program since our move into the new Aerospace Engineering Sciences Building.

Scroll down to view the schedule for Thursday and Friday. Enjoy your stay in Boulder, and don't hesitate to contact our graduate advisors, Waleska Rivera-Shon or Nicole Simmons, with any questions about your visit!

Webpage Navigation: ​Scroll down for the agenda, or click the links here for additional information:

  1. Departmental Lab & Research Center Open Houses during Friday Afternoon;
  2. Transportation options to and from the airport, see a map of the area, and
  3. Learn about things to do in Boulder.

Thursday, February 20

  • 3:00pm – Check-in at Boulder Inn
  • 7:00pm – Current Aerospace Student Panel and Pizza Dinner at the Boulder Inn Commissary

Friday, February 21st

  • 7:30am – Breakfast and Check-in at the Boulder Inn Commissary
    • Additional Check-in at the Aerospace Building for visitors staying elsewhere – breakfast provided
  • 8:30am – Shuttle from Boulder Inn to Aerospace Building
  • 9:00am – Grad Advisor Introductions - AERO 120 (Main Auditorium)
  • 9:02am - Smead Aerospace Department Welcome – Dr. Brian Argrow, Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department Chair and Schaden Leadership Chair - AERO 120
  • 9:10am – Graduate Program Overview - Dr. Marcus Holzinger, Associate Chair for Graduate Studies and Smead Faculty Fellow - AERO 120
  • 9:45am Focus Area Introductions - AERO 120
    • Quick introductions from the faculty leads of our department’s research focus areas. This will be followed by focus area breakouts at 10:30am for a more in-depth examination of the area(s) you are interested in:
      • Astrodynamics & Satellite Navigation Systems - Prof. Penina Axelrad
      • Autonomous Systems - Prof. Dale Lawrence
      • Bioastronautics - Prof. Allison Anderson
      • Fluids, Structures and Materials - Profs. John Farnsworth & Francisco Lopez Jimenez
      • Remote Sensing, Earth, and Space Sciences - Prof. Tomoko Matsuo
  • 9:55 am - Break
  • 10:05 am – Focus Area Breakouts - Deep dive into the research and faculty of each focus area:
    • Astrodynamics & Satellite Navigation Systems - AERO 232 classroom
    • Autonomous Systems - 224L Conference Room
    • Bioastronautics - N353 Kalpana Chawla Conference Room
    • Fluids, Structures and Materials - N453 COSMIC Conference Room
    • Remote Sensing, Earth, and Space Sciences - 403 George Born Conference Room
  • 11:05 Break
  • 11:15 am – Student Experience Q&A with Focus Area Faculty Leads
    • A chance for an open conversation with Focus Area Faculty Leads about aspects of working and studying in the Smead Aerospace PhD program, and a chance to ask faculty questions about their expectations of you, air any concerns you may have, and gain a better sense of how we work to ensure you have the best possible experience during your time as a student here. Feel free to continue asking these kinds of questions to current aerospace students and to follow up with faculty during lunch and in the afternoon faculty/applicant one-on-ones.
  • 11:40am – Housing Resources Overview - CU Boulder Housing and Dining Service - AERO 120
  • 11:50am – Entrepreneurship Resources in the College of Engineering & Applied Science (CEAS) with Kyle Judah, Director of Entrepreneurship, CEAS - AERO 120
  • 12:00pm – Catered lunch with Faculty – Kalita Grill Greek Cafe - Aerospace Engineering Lobby
    • Lunch will be out in the lobby, and seating with our faculty will be in the AERO 111 classroom.
  • 1:00pm 5:00pm – One-on-One meetings with prospective faculty advisors:
    • This might be your first interaction with a potential faculty advisor, or your fourth! This is an opportunity for you and our faculty to get to know one another better, discuss research opportunities and career goals, and to make sure both individuals would feel comfortable working together for years to come. More interactions are welcome–and encouraged–beyond this one meeting, before and after the PhD Applicant Visit Day.

Concurrent Activities During One-on-One meetings (1:00pm – 5:00pm)

  • 224L Conference Room “Applicant Hangout HQ” open for visiting doctoral students
    • Movies, snacks, soft drinks, and a visit by emotional support doggies
  • Aerospace Engineering Building Tours at 1pm, 2:15pm, and 3:30pm (for tours, meet at the information desk in the lobby)
  • Laboratories Open Houses for PhD Applicants (schedule below)
  • 5:15pm – Board shuttles in front of the Aerospace Building to head to the evening social event
  • 5:30pm – Evening Social “Decompression” Event with Current Aerospace Students at Rayback Collective – meal tickets will be provided to each student for free dinner at any of the food trucks: What The Fork, Lucky Bird, Tibet
    • You may leave the social event at any time after arriving, or stay after the 8pm shuttle departs.
  • 8:00pm – Shuttle returns to take students back to the Boulder Inn, with a pit-stop at 16th & Pearl Street so you can have the option of experiencing Boulder’s nightlife on the Pearl Street Mall.

Lab & Research Center Open Houses

Faculty Name Lab Name Room Number Time Availability Who Should Attend

Hanspeter Schaub




Anyone interested in complex spacecraft dynamics & control, formation flying, space debris removal, and developing mission analysis and support tools, should visit the Autonomous Vehicle Systems Lab.

Marcus Holzinger




Anyone interested in working in Space Domain Awareness

Jade Morton

SeNSe Lab



Anyone interested in working in GPS navigation and remote sensing

Bob Marshall




Anyone interested in RSESS, CubeSats, space science, and/or instrumentation (ground and space)

Jay McMahon




Anyone interested in working in space exploration and GNC (and other awesome areas of research)

Natasha Bosanac

Bosanac Research Group

442 (rightmost segment)


Anyone interested in trajectory design within multi-body gravitational environments

Torin Clark

Bioastronautics Focus Area

325 (also visiting other locations)


Anyone interested in bioastronautics

Scott Palo

STIg & 443 Labs

412 & 443


Anyone interested in CubeSats, radar, software defined receivers, space science and/or instrumentation (ground and space)

Dan Scheeres

Celestial & Spaceflight Mechanics Lab



Anyone interested in astrodynamics and the CSML lab

Frew, Lawrence, Argrow, Ahmed, Lahijanian, Sunberg

RECUV / AUT Open House



Applicants who are interested in autonomy, robotics, human-machine systems, fielded unmanned air/ground/underwater/space systems, and other work done in RECUV/AUT focus area.

Penny Axelrad COMPASS Lab 442 (center segment) 1:00-4:00 Applicants interested in GPS/GNSS, Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT), and orbit estimation
Iain Boyd NGPDL 346G 1:00-4:00 Anyone interested in hypersonics and space propulsion

John Farnsworth



3:00-4:00 Experimental Aerodynamics Laboratory includes several fluid dynamic testing facilities including two low-speed wind tunnels and a fully developed pipe flow apparatus. Focuses in the areas of understanding and controlling three-dimensional, unsteady aerodynamic flows.
Zoltan Sternovsky IMPACT LASP 4:00-5:00 - Prof. Sternovsky will provide transportation to and from LASP Applicants interested in visiting the dust accelerator facility and/or interested in working with Dr. Sternovsky
Francisco Lopez Jimenez Lopez Jimenez Research Group     309/310     3:00-4:00 Anyone interested in structures and materials