Published: Jan. 28, 2022

Alessandro Verniani
Alessandro Verniani

Alessandro Verniani has earned a 2022 Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship.

An aerospace master's student, Verniani will receive a paid internships and executive mentorship through the program, which is designed to inspire the next generation of commercial spaceflight leaders.

Verniani is a first-year graduate student with a focus in bioastronautics. A first-generation student, his passion for human spaceflight culminated in a previous internship at SpaceX, where he worked on spacecraft development. At the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), he researched hypervelocity impact plasmas to develop more sensitive spacecraft instruments. As an intern at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he applied his undergraduate research on self-deploying origami space structures to the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) project.

Alessandro previously worked on satellite constellation design at Northrop Grumman and cold gas thruster development at Varda Space, a microgravity manufacturing start-up that ignited his passion for commercial space. In his free time, Alessandro enjoys backpacking, photography, playing piano, and late-night Wikipedia spirals.

His Isakowitz internship will be at Virgin Galactic.

Now in its fifth year, the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship awards exceptional college juniors, seniors, and graduate students pursuing aerospace careers with paid internships at cutting-edge commercial space companies. Fellows also receive one-on-one mentorship from accomplished members of the space community, including astronauts, engineers, entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and others.

The program culminates in a summit where fellows network with top leaders in the industry, visit space start-ups, and develop entrepreneurial skills.