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2018 Attendee Bios

   Dr. Amrita Basak

Amrita Basak received her Bachelor’s degree from Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India in 2003 and her Master's from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur in 2005. Before starting graduate studies at Georgia Tech in 2012, she was a Lead Engineer at General Electric (Aviation) Bangalore, Karnataka, India (2005-2011). During graduate school at Georgia Tech, she joined the Direct Digital Manufacturing Lab and worked on the development of a laser powder bed fusion (LPBF)-based additive manufacturing process, scanning laser epitaxy (SLE) under the direction of Dr. Suman Das. She completed her Master of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering in 2015 and received her Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering in 2017 for her dissertation titled Advanced Powder Bed Fusion-Based Additive Manufacturing with Turbine Engine Hot-Section Superalloys through Scanning Laser Epitaxy. She spent the summer of 2014 at Robert Bosch in Palo Alto doing an internship. She was also a student member of the Industrial Assessment Center at Georgia Tech.

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   Ashley Carlton

Ashley Carlton received Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Wake Forest University in 2011, a Master of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from MIT in 2016, and is on track to defend her Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at MIT in Summer 2018, with a focus on using typical spacecraft imaging detectors to measure the energetic electron environment, as well as autonomous untrained spacecraft telemetry monitoring for anomaly identification. Carlton previously was a Science Operations Team Mission Planner for the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Carlton is a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow and an executive member of the Women in Aerospace Engineering group at MIT.

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   Astrid Raisanen

Astrid Raisanen is a Ph.D. candidate in the department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. She works in the Nonequilibrium Gas and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory (NGPDL) under the supervision of Professor Iain Boyd. Her research focuses on modeling the physics of plasma in a Hall effect thruster, a type of electric propulsion device.

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  Dr. Caitlin Chapin

Caitlin Chapin received her Ph.D. at Stanford University in the mechanical engineering department in April, 2018. Her Ph.D. work was funded by the NASA Space Technology Research Fellow program where she had the opportunity to collaborate with researchers at NASA Glenn, NASA Ames and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Her Ph.D. and current postdoctoral work is in the Extreme Environment Microsystems Laboratory (XLab) with Prof. Debbie Senesky. Caitlin enjoys working on microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) with new materials, which requires exploring the relationship between devices physics, material science, and structural mechanics. Caitlin received her B.S. in mechanical engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys climbing and drawing with colored pencils.

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 Dr. Camli Badrya

Dr. Camli Badrya was born and raised in a small village in the green Carmel Mountains in Israel, and from an early age was curious about engineering and aviation. She earned her B.Sc. from the Technion in Aerospace Engineering and received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue her master’s degree in the United States. In 2011 Camli arrived at Maryland, and, after completing her master’s degree, she went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering. During her graduate studies, Camli worked with Dr. James Baeder and used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tools to investigate the aerodynamic principles behind bio-inspired flapping wing flight. In 2015, she was recognized with an Amelia Earhart Fellowship Award. Camli’s strong interest in aerodynamics and aviation and in solving complex problems has continued to flourish. Currently, she is fully involved in research and teaching, as a postdoctoral associate at the University of Maryland, College Park and University of Colorado Boulder. She believes in diversity and equal opportunity for both women and minorities in academia and especially in STEM majors.

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Catherine Miller

Catherine Miller is a doctoral student in the Aero Astro Department at MIT. She is a graduate research assistant in the Space Propulsion Laboratory under the advisement of Prof. Paulo Lozano. Her research is focused on experimentally characterizing the performance of ionic liquids in ion electrospray thrusters. Catherine received her Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT in June 2015. She received her Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Space Physics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2013.

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   Christine Gregg

Christine Gregg is a Ph.D. student at UC Berkeley in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. With past research experience in composite materials, energy harvesting, and rotorcraft acoustics, she is passionately interested in many areas that contribute to flight and space exploration. Her most recent research is on the mechanics and damage mechanisms of architected lattice materials, as well as associated aerospace applications. She is a NASA Space Technologies Research Fellow at NASA Ames Research Center. 

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Dr. Clemence Bacquet

Clemence received a M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Technology Compiegne (France) in 2013. She recently graduated with a Ph.D. from the department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at CU Boulder. During her Ph.D., Clemence investigated the effects of damping on the wave propagation characteristics of elastic metamaterials, which are artificially engineered materials. In parallel to her research, she has valued opportunities to mentor younger students and to develop scientific outreach programs. She has also been an active member of the student group “Women in Science and Engineering”, which aims at promoting and supporting women in STEM fields.

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Dr. Cori Watson

Cori Watson is a Research Associate at the University of Virginia with the Rotating Machinery and Controls group. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in May of 2018 where her dissertation topic was Computational Modeling of Helical Groove Seals. Her postdoctoral research interests include computational modeling of airplane engine compressor stage vibration and turbulence modeling of bearings in thermoelastrohydrodynamic analysis.

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Debolina Dasgupta

Debolina Dasgupta is a 4th year Ph.D. candidate at Georgia Institute of Technology working with Prof. Tim Lieuwen. She completed her undergraduate studies at Jadavpur university in India where she worked on the development of a Navier-Stokes solver for micro-channel flows. She completed her Master in Technology at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Her research there focused on flow-acoustics interactions to understand the hydrodynamic stability characteristics of flow configurations in a backward facing step combustor typically seen in afterburners. Her current research at Georgia Tech focusses on turbulent combustion and understanding turbulence-chemistry interactions using direct numerical simulations and comparing them with simplified 1D models. Additionally, the work intends to suggest improved chemistry models for turbulent combustion simulations and test the validity of the current models.

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Dr. Heather Chiamori

Heather received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley where she focused on nanomaterial synthesis and integration for sensor applications. As a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, she has had the opportunity to design and develop nanomaterial-based Gallium Nitride sensors for aerospace and space applications as well as work on energy projects.

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Iyabo Lawal

Iyabo Lawal is a Ph.D. student at Rice University in Houston, TX where she is part of the Tribomechadynamics Laboratory in Mechanical Engineering that looks at the integration of tribology, contact mechanics, and structural dynamics. Her research focus is to understand how surface topology changes, caused by friction and wear, at a material scale evolve to affect the dynamic performance of a structure. She has an MS in Sustainable Design from Carnegie Mellon University and an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University as well as industry experience in the testing and integration of measurement systems.

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Kristen Strandjord

Kirsten Strandjord is a Ph.D. student in Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. She received B.A. degrees in Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science from Luther College. She worked at Boeing as an electrophysicist developing software in the Computational Infrared Department. She received a M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics with an Astrodynamics specialization from Purdue. Her research interests are GNSS technologies. Outside of research, Kirsten enjoys leading the AEROspace Boosters for Undergraduate Development and Success (AEROBUDS) program where she mentors undergraduates to develop tools and skills in order to be successful in an engineering major.

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Lubna Zubair

Lubna is an Aerospace Engineering Master’s student at the University of Colorado in Boulder with the Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation focus area. Her research focuses on spacecraft formation flying, using the Lambert’s problem. She has built a testbed of Raspberry Pis, each simulating a spacecraft.  Lubna received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech. At Tech, her research focused on on-board space debris tracking software for a cubesat. She enjoys programming, and tinkering with hardware, and hopes to continue incorporating these skills in her work. Lubna is spending her summer interning at Blue Origin and working on the GNC team for New Shepard.

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Margherita Capriotti

Margherita Capriotti is currently a Ph.D. student in the NDE/SHM Lab at the University of California, San Diego. She has obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s (2014) Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Parma, Italy, after a Graduate Research Trainee period at McGill University, Montreal, CA. Her research interests are Infrared Thermography, Guided Ultrasonic Waves and Signal Processing, with a special focus on Composite materials applications.

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Maria Thomsen

Maria Thomsen is a fourth-year Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley where she works under the guidance of Professor Fernandez-Pello in the combustion and fire processes laboratory. During her Ph.D. studies, she has focused her studies on the flammability and flame spread analysis of combustible solids, such as fire-resistant fabrics and thermoplastics. Her project is funded by NASA and tries to understand the fire behavior of materials in conditions similar to the ones encountered inside spacecraft vehicles. Maria received her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Before that she got her B.S. and her M.S. in Industrial Engineering at the Universidad Tecnica Federico Santa Maria in Chile where she performed research on soot production in diffusion flames.

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  Neda Karami

Neda Karami Mohammadi received a B.S. and two M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering, from Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, K. N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, and Northeastern University, Boston, in 2005, 2007, and 2017 respectively. Currently, she is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. She is working on incorporating robot dynamics into navigation integrity algorithms. Her current research interest includes nonlinear dynamics, vibrations and control, uncertainty quantification, stochastic process and control, state estimation for nonlinear systems, control of unmanned ground vehicles, and energy harvesting. She has been engaged as the President of Iranian Student Association of Illinois Institute of Technology (IRSA) since 2017. Ms. Karami Mohammadi has won some awards including the Best Paper in the theme of Dynamics and Vibrations at the 6th Annual Student Conference on Mechanical Engineering (STU2009), Award of ranked 1st among 2007-2009 Mechanical Engineering graduate students at Department of Mechanical Engineering of K. N. Toosi University of Technology. Award letter of Stipend GRA for the 2013-2014 and Stipend GTA for the 2014- 2015 from Northeastern University, Award of the best graduate student from the library of the University of Tehran, Award letter of Stipend GTA for the 2017-2018 from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. She is the member of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Iranian Society of Mechanical Engineers (ISME), Iranian Society of Acoustics and Vibrations (ISAV) and Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

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   Negar Mehr

Negar Mehr is a Ph.D. candidate in the Mechanical Engineering department at University of California, Berkeley. She received her B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, in 2013. She is the co-recipient of the first prize for the best student paper award at the International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, 2016. She is the graduate winner of the 2017 WTS-OC (Women Transportation Seminars) scholarship. Negar was awarded the Chang-Lin Tien Graduate Fellowship, in 2015 and 2017. She was also awarded the Graduate Division Block Grant Award, in 2015 and 2018, and Eltoukhy East-West Gateway Fellowship in 2013. While at Berkeley, Negar was the Best Prelim Performer and passed the Prelim Exams with distinct honor in 2014. She was awarded the silver medal in the 2nd Iranian National Astronomy Olympiad, in 2006. Negar’s research interests are controls, transportation engineering, cyber-physical systems and robotics. Her current focus is on analyzing transportation networks with mixed autonomy. She is developing algorithms and scalable tools for efficient management of future traffic networks.

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Dr. Nina Vaidya

Dr. Nina Vaidya received her undergraduate degree in Electrical and Information Engineering from University of Cambridge, England, UK and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, CA, USA working on graded index solar concentrators and using 3D printing to make optics with nanometer smooth surfaces. Presently, Nina is a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech in the Space-based Solar Power Project (SSPP) and works on advanced optical and material design- simulations, optoelectronic characterization, fabrication techniques, and prototyping. She conceptualized and demonstrated ultra-lightweight and flexible carbon fiber reinforced polymer mirrors and achieved over 90% experimental optical efficiency in a space solar prototype. Nina also works on new materials like UV curable polymers mixtures and perovskites. Before her Ph.D. Nina worked as a management consultant for engineering companies and OEMs. Nina was a Stanford DARE (Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence) fellow and involved in outreach activities, such as IEEE industry liaison and WIE (Women In Engineering) officer.

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Orzuri Rique

Orzuri Rique is a third year Ph.D. student in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue majoring in Structures and Materials and working at the Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center at the Indiana Manufacturing Institute. Her research interests comprise composite structural mechanics and manufacturing simulations. She holds a B.Sc and M.Sc in Aeronautical Engineering by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Barcelona, SPAIN) and a M.Sc in Mechanical Manufacturing and Automation by Beihang University (Beijing, CHINA). In her spare time, she has served the graduate students community as AAE Purdue Graduate Student Government Senator (2015-16), Professional Development/Research Symposium Series Chair (2016-17), Aero Assist President (2017-18), and Graduate Women’s Gathering ambassador. She will do an internship at Dassault Systèmes during the summer working on simulation products.

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  Rachael Tompa

Rachael Tompa (BS¹14, MS’16) is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics at Stanford University and a member of the Stanford Intelligent Systems Laboratory (SISL). Her interests are in the development of advanced algorithms for robust decision making systems, particularly in the area of Air and Space Traffic Management. Prior to enrolling at Stanford, she received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in mechanical engineering and physics. Rachael participates in several educational outreach programs to encourage interest in science, technology, engineering, math, and aviation.

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 Sarah Cusson

Sarah Cusson is a Ph.D. candidate in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan. She researches in the Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory under Dr. Alec Gallimore and Dr. Benjamin Jorns. Her research focuses on long life high power Hall thrusters. She received her undergraduate degree in Astronautical Engineering magna cum laude from the University of Southern California. She is a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow, an Amelia Earhart Fellow and an AIAA Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Fellow.

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  Shadi Darani

Shadi Darani is a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan Technological University. She has previously received a Master of Science degree in Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering from Tarbiat Modares University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from Sharif University of Technology, both located in Tehran, Iran. Shadi’s research is focused on developing novel optimization algorithms based on biology concepts with applications in space trajectory optimization.

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  Sharanya Subramaniam

Sharanya Subramaniam is a Ph.D. candidate in the Mechanical Science and Engineering department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She received her B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI), India in 2013. After completing her undergraduate studies, she worked as a senior engineer in the Computer Aided Engineering team at the R&D division of Bajaj Auto Limited, India, where she performed durability analysis of engine components of motorcycles. Her Ph.D. research in Dr. Kelly Stephani’s Computational Kinetics Group is based on the area of aerothermodynamics, focusing on modeling of non-equilibrium, non-continuum flow features for better characterization of flow fields that develop around space vehicles during atmospheric re-entry. Currently, her work is directed towards developing a consistent rotational and vibrational quantum state resolved transport model for state-based, hybrid continuum-DSMC flow solvers, and identifying spatial locations where transition between the two solvers must be made. The goal is to use these computationally efficient, high fidelity models to design optimal thermal protection systems for space vehicles. Sharanya received the Sir Dorabji Tata merit scholarship during her undergraduate studies, and the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation Scholarship for post-graduate studies abroad in 2015. She also received the Amelia Earhart fellowship in 2017. Her hobbies include singing and listening to Indian classical music.

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 Dr. Stephanie A. Coronel

Stephanie Coronel is a postdoctoral appointee at the Sandia National Laboratories having recently completed a one-year postdoctoral appointment at the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT). She received her Ph.D. in Aeronautics from Caltech in 2016, where she worked for Professor Joseph E. Shepherd on combustion in the Explosion Dynamics Laboratory. She received her BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2009 and an MS in Aeronautics from Cal-tech in 2010. Her Ph.D. research focused on ignition in thermal boundary layers, specifically using optical diagnostics to make quantitative measurements of the reactive gas temperature adjacent to hot surfaces. During her postdoc at Cal-tech, she worked on numerically and experimentally understanding the process by which accidental hydrogen explosions can occur in nuclear power plants. At Sandia, she is currently working on developing novel diagnostics and experiments for performing quantitative measurements of dynamic events in energetic materials. Her research interests include the development of novel diagnostics for visualization of reacting and non-reacting flows, specifically turbulence, as well as developing nanosecond imaging for investigating ultra high-speed events such as cavitation, deflagration to detonation transition (DDT), and detonation of energetic materials.

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 Dr. Theresa Saxton-Fox

Theresa Saxton-Fox is a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton University, working with Professor Marcus Hultmark. She has recently accepted an assistant professorship in the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, to begin in January of 2019. Her research focuses on the experimental investigation of turbulent dynamics, with particular interest in the quantification of instantaneously-observable coherent structures and their relevance to engineering quantities of interest. Some of her previous and current projects include the influence of variable pressure gradients on large-scale coherent turbulent structures, reduced-order modeling of turbulent boundary layer dynamics, advanced conditional averaging to study the interaction between turbulent scales, and experimental investigations of passive scalar transport and aero-optic distortion in heated turbulent boundary layers. Dr. Saxton-Fox received her Ph.D. from Caltech in 2017, where she worked with Professor Beverley McKeon. She was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (declined) and the NDSEG Fellowship in 2013, and was a Rhodes Scholarship Finalist in 2011.

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  Valeria Andreoli

Valeria Andreoli is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, where she works as Research Assistant at Zucrow Laboratories. She received her BS degree in Aerospace engineering and a MS degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, in Italy. She earned a Research Master at the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics, in Belgium, in the department of Turbomachinery and Propulsion. She was awarded the Prize for Excellence in Numerical Research for her final project. Her research is focused on aerothermal design of high-pressure turbines and integration with aircraft engine modeling. Valeria was awarded the International Fellowship of AAUW, she is currently a member of the Leadership Team of the Purdue Women in Engineering Network, and one of Purdue Graduate School’s Global Ambassador.

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  Victoria Chibuogu Nneji

Victoria Chibuogu Nneji studied Applied Mathematics at Columbia University in New York City and earned a Master of Engineering Management from Duke University in her hometown of Durham, North Carolina. In 2017, Victoria became the first Ph.D. candidate in Duke's robotics program. Here, she works with Professor Missy Cummings and has led projects with NASA and the DOT on modeling remote operations centers for autonomous vehicle networks in rail and air transportation systems. Victoria hopes to make a positive difference in future mobility and logistics design decisions by strategizing with human factors-systems engineering considerations when integrating artificial intelligence into operations.

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 Dr. A Ram "Bella" Kim

A Ram “Bella” Kim graduated with a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas in May, 2018. She has been appointed as assistant professor at Iowa State University starting August, 2018. Her research focuses on guidance, navigation, and control for collaborative multi-agent unmanned aerial systems in unstructured environments using the numerical solution of partial differential equations (PDEs). Bella has an extensive flight test experience and been involved in over one hundred UAS flight tests. She has hands-on experience across a wide range of UAS platforms. Bella was an intern in the Microsoft Research, (Redmond, WA) and is a proficient user of MATLAB/Simulink, Python, Git, Latex and Robotic Operating System (ROS). She was awarded Carlin GTA award in 2018, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship in 2017 and the most outstanding GTA award in 2016. She is enthusiastic about encouraging female and underrepresented minorities and been actively involved with women engineer groups.

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