PhD Students

Dahlia Skydiving

Dahlia Baker

Dahlia is a second-year PhD student from Boerne, Texas. She holds a B.A. in Physics from Coe College. She is supported by the Graduate Research Fellowship of the National Science Foundation that she was awarded in 2018. Before joining CU Boulder and ORCCA, she interned as NASA Goddard and Planetary Resources as a Brooke Owens Fellow. Her current research focuses on improving feature detection and navigation algorithms for the purpose...
spencer

Spencer Boone

Spencer is a Ph.D. student from Calgary, Alberta. He holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from McGill University in Montreal, and a MS in aerospace engineering from CU-Boulder. Before returning to CU for his Ph.D., he worked for several years in flight dynamics operations for various NASA Earth-observing missions. His research currently focuses on enabling autonomous spacecraft maneuvering and guidance in non-linear dynamical systems (e.g. multibody systems, small body environments).
Ryan looking dapper

Ryan Bull

Ryan is a PhD student from Parker, CO. He holds a B.S. in Engineering Physics and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. He works at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as a mission design and navigation engineer. His latest research has been on estimation, navigation, and small body gravity science. He expects to graduate in 2023.
Luke loves Europa

Luke Bury

Luke is a fourth-year PhD Pre-Candidate from Sioux Falls, SD. He holds a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently supported by the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship which he was awarded in 2018. His research focuses on trajectory design for landing on moons of the outer planets, and he expects to graduate in 2021.
Jayce

Jana Cuberovic

Jana is a first-year Ph.D. student from Flower Mound, Texas and holds a BSc. in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to CU for her Ph.D, she worked at Lockheed Martin as a design engineer.
Rachel

Rachel Cueva

Rachel is a first-year Ph.D. student from Eldersburg, Maryland. She holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to attending CU Boulder and joining ORCCA, she interned at both NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. She is currently a Pathways Intern at NASA Goddard.
Tara

Taralicin Deka

Taralicin is a 3rd year Ph.D. student, from Assam, India. She holds a B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology Silchar, India, and an MSc. degree in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder, USA. Her current research focuses on multi-agent relative-motion planning in perturbed environments. She expects to graduate in 2023.
Matt

Matthew Givens

Originally from Ogden, UT, Matthew began his PhD at CU in the fall of 2019. He obtained a BSc. in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT and a MSc. in aerospace engineering from Utah State University in Logan, UT before moving to Colorado to join ORCCA. After working as an intern at the NASA Ames Research Center in 2016, Matthew was an engineer and...
Mel

Melis Grace

Melis is a fourth-year PhD Student from Rochester, New York. She holds a B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering from SUNY University at Buffalo and a M.S. in the same field from CU Boulder. Her research explores the dynamics of aerocapture and entry, descent, and landing, focusing on uncertainty quantification/propagation and spacecraft guidance. She expects to graduate before 2024.
Shayna by a whiteboard

Shayna Hume

Shayna is a second-year PhD student from Springfield, MA. She holds a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Miami, and is currently supported by the Graduate Research Fellowship of the National Science Foundation that she was awarded in 2018. She is a recipient of the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship and is affiliated with Dr. Bobby Braun's ESD Laboratory at CU Boulder. Prior to joining CU, Shayna was affiliated with...
Hermann looking dapper

Hermann Kaptui

Hermann is a third-year PhD student from Douala, Cameroon. Hermann moved to Takoma Park, MD during his undergrad at the University of Maryland, where he graduated with a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering. He is affiliated with the Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA Langley Research Center. His research focuses on 6DOF guidance and control of multi-agent systems leveraging differential SRP to facilitate autonomous on-orbit servicing. He expects to graduate in 2022.
Ken Kuppa

Koundinya Kuppa

Ken is a first year PhD student. He has a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Prior to joining ORCCA, he worked at Draper in Cambridge, MA on GN&C algorithms for aerospace vehicles.
Chloe

Chloe Long

Chloe is a first-year PhD student. Has a BSc in mechanical engineering from SUNY Binghamton. She was affiliated with NASA Kennedy Space Center and Airbus Americas and is a Brooke Owens Fellow.
Mark in a field

Mark Moretto

Mark is a fifth-year PhD student from Briarcliff Manor, NY. He holds a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering and a BSc. in Astronomy from the University of Maryland, and is currently supported by the NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship that he was awarded in 2018. Mark studies the highly perturbed orbital environment at active comets with applications to mission planning, operations, and science. He expects to graduate in 2022.
sean_richmond

Sean Napier

Sean Napier is a PhD Candidate from Doylestown, PA. He holds a BSc. in Astrophysics from Lehigh University. He works as an aerospace engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, prior to which he held internships with Omitron Inc. and SpaceX. Sean's research is focused on multi-objective hybrid optimal control for multi-spacecraft interplanetary trajectories. He expects to graduate in 2020.
Anivid

Anivid Pedros

Anivid is a third year PhD student from Barcelona, Spain. She holds a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and a MSc. in Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation from University of Colorado Boulder. Anivid first joined ORCCA Lab in Spring 2019 as an undergraduate researcher sponsored by the Balsells International Mobility program. Her MSc. was sponsored by the Balsells Fellowship and she is currently supported by a “la...
jens

Jens Rataczak

Jens is a first-year Ph.D. student from Circle Pines, Minnesota. He holds a BSc. in aerospace engineering from the University of Notre Dame, where he performed experimental hypersonic aerothermodynamics research. As a member of the hypersonic vehicles IRT at CU, he plans to investigate the interplay between the aerothermal environment and GNC of hypersonic vehicles. Co-advised by Dr. Iain Boyd.
jacopo

Jacopo Villa

Jacopo is a first-year PhD student from Rimini, Italy. He holds a BS in Aerospace Engineering from University of Bologna and a MS in Aerospace Engineering from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. He is currently collaborating with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he has been an affiliate for two years prior to joining CU, working on autonomous navigation for small body missions. His research explores high-fidelity gravimetric density...

Masters Students

Undergraduate Students

Postdoctoral Scholars

Visiting Scholars

Alumni

Jonathan

Jonathan Nikkel

Jonathan is a CU Aerospace alumni and Colorado native from Loveland, CO. He holds a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering and a MSc. in Aerospace Engineering, with a focus in Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation with a thesis completed in ORCCA in 2018. He is currently a Navigation Systems Engineer at Maxar-DigitalGlobe. He is interested in advanced navigation filters, space situational awareness, optical tracking, and GPS applications.
davide

Davide Amato

Davide was a postdoc from Castellammare di Stabia, Italy. He holds a BSc. and a MSc. in Aerospace Engineering from the "Federico II" University of Naples, Italy, and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Technical University of Madrid, Spain. Prior to joining ORCCA, he was a postdoc at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. His scientific interests are orbit propagation, orbital mechanics, machine learning applied to astrodynamics, and...
Ben looking dapper

Benjamin Bercovici

Benjamin, originally from Bordeaux, France, obtained his PhD in Spring 2019. He holds a BSc. and MSc. in Aerospace Engineering from ISAE-Supaero, Toulouse, France, and a MSc. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Before joining CU Boulder in 2015, he was an intern at Airbus Defense and Space in Toulouse, France. His research focuses on shape reconstruction, uncertainty quantification and model-based navigation about small bodies. He...
Daniel looking dapper

Daniel Brack

Daniel, originally from Jerusalem, Israel, obtained his PhD in Fall 2019. He holds a BSc. and MSc. in Aerospace Engineering from Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. Daniel is affiliated with the Space Generation Advisory Council, NASA Goddard and is a recipient of the Mather Nobel Scholarship. Daniel's research investigates the relationship between rotation dynamics and surface activity, such as landslides, on small bodies. Daniel is also a...
Ann

Ann Dietrich

Ann graduated with her PhD in August 2017, focusing on supporting autonomous navigation research using a flash lidar instrument in proximity to small bodies. While at CU, she held honors such as being a Joseph H. Smead Fellow, and the National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship. She currently works at NASA/Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the Near Earth Tracking Applications group, working on orbit determination of the GPS satellites and...
Andrew on an escalator

Andrew French

Andrew is a PhD Candidate from Olympia, Washington. He holds a B.A in Mathematics and B.Sc in Engineering Physics both from Whitworth University, and a M.Sc in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from CU Boulder. Andrew is affiliated with the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium and with KinetX, Inc. Andrew's research is interested in orbit determination and gravity field estimation around asteroids and comets. Andrew is also a member of CU's OSIRIS-REx...
Jeroen

Jeroen Geeraert

Jeroen received his BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2011 and the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2012. He graduated with his PhD in 2017 from Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder under the supervision of Dr. Jay McMahon. He is currently working as an Orbit Determination Analyst at KinetX Inc. for the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission.
megan

Megan Jones

Megan was an undergraduate student obtaining a Bsc. in Aerospace Engineering at CU Boulder, which she received in 2021. She got involved with ORCCA over the summer of 2018 with the CU SPUR program assisting in building a drone and asteroid model test bed. She is interested in autonomous spacecraft systems for celestial body exploration missions, among other interests. She was interning at JPL over the summer of 2019 working...
Don in the woods

Don Kuettel

Don was a PhD student from Hortonville, WI. He holds a BSc. in Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a MSc. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences from the University of Colorado Boulder. In addition to being an ARCs Scholar, he has interned with the Air Force Research Laboratory. His research focuses on enabling optimal guidance and control of spacecraft around small bodies using low-thrust propulsion. He defended...
Jonathan looking dapper

Jonathan Manni

Jonathan is a third-year PhD student from Canton, Michigan. He holds a BSc. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering from Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI, and has studied abroad at the Osnabrück University of Applied Science in Germany. He is supported by the Draper Fellowship which he was awarded in 2018, and was an intern at the NASA Johnson Space Center over the summer of 2018. Jonathan's research focuses on...
Ken with a view

Kenshiro Oguri

Kenshiro (Ken) was a Ph.D. student from Nagoya, Japan. He holds a BSc. and MSc. in Aero/Astro from the University of Tokyo. Summer 2018 and Fall 2019, he worked at NASA JPL on science orbit design for the Psyche mission (2018) and on solar sailing trajectory optimization for the NEA Scout mission (2019). He works on stochastic optimal control for robust space trajectory design and SRP-based orbit control, with applications...
paolo

Paolo Panicucci

Paolo was a visiting scholar in Spring 2019 from ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse, France. He holds a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, and holds MSc. in Space Engineering from Sapienza University of Rome, Italy, in Aerospace Engineering from ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse, France, and in Control and Signal Processing from Paris-Saclay University, Paris, France. He is supported by CNES Doctoral Fellowship. He was previously affiliated with Airbus Defence and...
Evan

Evan Roelke

Evan was a PhD student from Morristown, New Jersey with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Brown University and an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has interned at 3 NASA centers (NASA Langley, NASA Ames, and JPL) and has been a Draper Labs Fellow since 2018. His research focuses on guidance algorithm development for drag-modulated aerocapture. He defended his PhD in summer 2021.
Lubna in green

Lubna Zubair

Lubna is from Voorhees, NJ. She holds a BSc. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech where she was part of the Systems Design Lab prior to joining CU. Lubna joined Blue Origin in WA after completing her MSc. degree in Spring 2019.
ORCCA Current Students Academic Background Breakdown
ORCCA Currents Students Academic Backgrounds Breakdown