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Space Systems Design Laboratory

Space Systems Design Laboratory

Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0150
Phone: 404.894.7783
Fax: 404.894.2760


News & Events

Congratulations to SSDL graduate student, Byron Davis, who was chosen to participate in the 2014 NASA Planetary Science Summer School held at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It is an intensive one-week team exercise to learn the process of developing a robotic mission concept into reality through concurrent engineering. Byron was one of 18 doctoral students and post-docs chosen nationally to participate in the JPL Power Systems session in August 2014.

Congratulations to SSDL undergraduate researcher, Veronica Foreman, who was named by the Georgia Tech College of Engineering as an Outstanding AE Undergraduate Researcher. This is the first time that an SSDL undergraduate student has received this award.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate students Andris Jaunzemis and Johnny Worthy III who were competitively selected for 2014 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate students Byron Davis and Lin Li who successfully completed the Ph.D. qualification exams in Spring semester 2014.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate student Chris Cordell who was awarded the Best Atmospheric Flight Mechanics paper at the 2014 AIAA Science and Technology Forum (January 2014 at the National Harbor, MD). His paper, AIAA 2014-1093, is entitled, "An Analytic Approach to Modeling Supersonic Retropropulsion Flow Field Components." This is the fifth time in the last seven years that an SSDL student has won an AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics best paper award.

Congratulations to Dr. Robert D. Braun, David and Andrew Lewis Professor of Space Technology who was recently elected as a member of The National Academy of Engineering (NAE). Election to the NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education. Dr. Braun was elected for significant contributions to space exploration and technologies for entering planetary atmospheres from space.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate student Zach Putnam who successfully completed his Ph.D. Proposal, entitled "Quantitative Assessment of Disparate Trajectory Control Systems for Planetary Entry," in January 2014.

SSDL students presented twelve technical papers on a wide range of topics at the AIAA SciTech meeting in January 2014. In addition, Dr. Braun organized and moderated the opening session entitled, "Federal Investments in Aerospace R&D".

Congratulations to the following SSDL students who participated in December 2013 graduation: Ph.D. students Nitin Arora, Zarrin Chua, Chris Cordell, Soumyo Dutta, Milad Mahzari, and Brad Steinfeldt; and M.S. students Rachel Haga, Keir Gonyea, Jeremy Hill, Lin Li, Amit Mandalia, and Grant Rossman.

Based on his campus activities and contributions made to the aerospace industry, Kip Hart was selected by Aviation Week & Space Technology as one of the magazine's twenty 20s. Kip will receive this award on November 14 in a ceremony at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Arizona.

In just his second year on the faculty of Purdue University, Professor Michael Grant was awarded the W.A. Gustafson Award for Outstanding Teaching. The recipient of this award is selected by the juniors and seniors of the Purdue AAE student body. Mike earned his Ph.D. from Georgia Tech's School of Aerospace Engineering in May 2012, performing this research in SSDL.

Congratulations to SSDL graduate students Ryan Coder, Francesca Favaró, Keir Gonyea and Grant Rossman who successfully completed the Ph.D. qualification exams in Fall semester 2013.

Dr. Christine Hartzell, who completed her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech in May 2008, has accepted a position as an assistant professor in the School of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland. Christine began her research career by performing undergraduate research in SSDL. She then went on to graduate school at CU-Boulder where Dr. Dan Scheeres was her faculty advisor. She is presently a post-doc fellow at Caltech. Christine is the third student associated with SSDL to begin an academic career in the last few years.

SSDL is pleased to welcome the following graduate students in Fall 2013: Hisham Ali, Byron Davis, Jason Ginn, Kip Hart, Casey Heidrich, Alexandra Long, Timothy Murphy, Peter Schulte and Johnny Worthy. We also welcome undergraduate researchers Tyler Anderson, Shelby Bottoms, Sean Chait, Amanda Grubb and Andris Jaunzemis to the lab.

The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering is pleased to welcome Assistant Professor Brian Gunter to Georgia Tech. Professor Gunter's research interests are in the areas of satellite geodesy, orbital mechanics, earth and planetary observation and high-performance computing. He comes to Georgia Tech from the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where he was a faculty member in the Physical and Space Geodesy Group. Professor Gunter earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rice University and an MS & PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

NASA recently released a new educational video featuring SSDL alum Chris Tanner. In this video, Chris introduces, The "Amazing Supersonic Decelerator: Parachuting On to Mars".

In their work at JPL, SSDL alumni, Dr. Ian Clark and Dr. Chris Tanner, have continued the maturation of inflatable aerodynamic decelerator technology, the subject of their Ph.D. dissertations. Here, Dr. Clark and Dr. Tanner set up test articles prior to a review of the NASA Space Technology Low Density Supersonic Decelerator Project in May 2013.

Ian with SIADR Chris Tanner with PDD Ian with PDD

Congratulations to SSDL graduate student Lin Li who was competitively selected for a 2013 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship.

Som at the Goddard Memorial Dinner Congratulations to SSDL graduate student Soumyo Dutta who was awarded the 2013 Dr. Robert H. Goddard Memorial Scholarship by the National Space Club for his work in the development of advanced estimation techniques with application to entry, descent and landing system performance and vehicle design. This award was presented during the Club's annual Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner, a black tie event on Friday, March 22 in Washington, D.C. Soumyo is the second SSDL student in four years to receive this honor.

Congratulations to Professor Spencer and the Prox-1 team who won this year's University Nanosat Program competition sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Air Force Research Laboratory. The Georgia Tech Prox-1 mission is designed to demonstrate automated trajectory control in low-Earth orbit relative to a deployed CubeSat. This spacecraft has been designed, fabricated and tested by a team of undergraduate and graduate students who will also be responsible for mission operations. As the winner of the UNP-7 competition, the Prox-1 mission will receive an Air Force launch slot (likely in 2015) as a secondary payload.