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Our People

Center/ Lab Director

Daniel Delaurentis
Director- Institute for Global Security and Defense Innovation (i-GSDI)
Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics
Chief Scientist - DoD Systems Engineering Research

Professional Research Staff

Cesare Guariniello
Research Scientist
Research Areas: Space architecture, Space robotics, System-of-Systems methodology, Dynamics and Control, MBSE
Kshitij Mall
Post Doc Research Associate
Linas Mockus
Research Associate Professor
Waterloo Tsutsui
Senior Research Associate
Research Areas: Systems Engineering, Structures and Materials, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

PhD Students

Prajwal Balasubramani
Graduate Research Assistant
Prajwal holds a Masters in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue. He has previous experience in projects ranging from electric vehicle DBT, operations research methods, multi-agent system architecture, mechanism design for game balance, system-of-system acquisition and portfolio optimization, to leading conceptual design for amphibious aircraft, using machine learning to quantify game balance. His PhD dissertation focuses on modeling and measuring fidelity of models for SoS and Digital Twins. He used to play the violin and is currently learning the guitar. He starts his day with a big cup of coffee and a few chess rapid games. Always interested in games - on a board or a console.

Research Interests: Modeling & Simulation, Digital Twins, Machine Learning, System Design and Verification, Multi-agent Systems, Operations Research and Gamification
Dalia Bekdache
Graduate Research Assistant
Dalia received an MSc in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue with a minor concentration in Computational Science and Engineering. Dalia’s thesis involved developing a framework for digital mission engineering, which leverages developments and tools used for digital engineering to design and implement space missions. Now, Dalia is a PhD student with a minor concentration in astrodynamics and is pursuing a Systems Graduate Certification to enhance her skills in systems engineering, MBSE, and system-of-systems modeling and design for space applications and missions.

Research Interests: Digital Mission Engineering, Space Missions, System and Mission Architecture, Model-based Systems Engineering (MBSE).
Derek Carpenter
Graduate Research Assistant
Derek Carpenter is a graduate research assistant at Purdue University's Center for Integrated Systems in Aerospace. He has focused on integration of the Robust Portfolio Optimization (RPO) toolset with Purdue-developed rocket sizing, payload allocation, and complexity assessment tools. Additionally, Derek worked as a teaching assistant for a Purdue system-of-systems engineering (SoSE) course, titled AAE560, during the spring of 2022. He also assisted in generation of problem sets, solutions, and example content for a SoSE textbook.

Research Interests: System-of-Systems Simulation, Model-based Systems Engineering, Technical Writing, System Dynamics Modeling
Tien-Yueh Fung
Graduate Research Assistant
Edward is a Ph.D. student at Purdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Edward holds a bachelor's and master's degree at National Cheng Kung University Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics with experience in the design of Stirling engine and aerospace heat exchangers.

Research Interests: System architectures of advanced aerial mobility and space structures.
ARMS 3154
Nicholas Gunady
Graduate Research Assistant
Nick is currently a graduate research assistant in the Advanced Air Mobility cluster, particularly on the Operational Limits Analysis Project sponsored by NASA Langley and the National Institute of Aerospace. His personal work aims to develop methods to and study powering future electric aircraft for minimizing operational costs and identify opportunities for urban planners. He has previous internship experience at American Airlines and GE Aviation, working on civil and military aircraft such as the 787, 777, P8 Poseidon, KC-46 Tanker, F/A-18 etc.

Research interests: Advanced Air Mobility, Aircraft Operations and Design, Optimization, Renewable Energy.
Winston Levin
Graduate Research Assistant
Winston earned his B.S. and M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue in 2020 and 2022. His research focuses on leveraging optimal control theory to benchmark maximum vehicle performance as well as applying various methods from control theory and machine learning to approximate the nonlinear optimal control for real-time applications.

Research Interests: Autonomy and Control, Optimal Control Theory, High Speed Systems.
Rodrigo Schmitt
Ross Fellow, Graduate Teaching Assistant
Rodrigo Schmitt received a BSc in Astronomy and a second BSc in Physics, followed by a M.Sc. in Space Engineering focused in Space Mechanics & Controls. Rodrigo also specialized in AI and deep learning by working as a programming teacher and data scientist, co-founded one of the most reliable open-source rocket trajectory simulators, called RocketPy, and co-founded the first organization at Purdue dedicated to promoting human space exploration, SEARCH, which facilitates the Purdue participation in analog programs and initiatives for future student-astronauts. In his PhD, Rodrigo is applying his expertise in AI to space-related topics, with focus on the coming of age of cislunar space exploration, space tourism and In-Situ Resource Utilization. In his free time, he enjoys outdoors activities such as hiking, backpacking and rock climbing, as well as instrumental music and philosophical books.

Research interests: Space Mission; Deep Learning; AI; Space Tourism; In-Situ Resource Utilization; Optimization.
Alex Shi
Graduate Research Assistant
Sonali Sinha Roy
Graduate Research Assistant
Sonali is a Ph.D. student at Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a Graduate researcher at CISA (SoS Lab). She has a keen interest in interdisciplinary research for space applications, with a focus on Systems Engineering. She has an affinity for large-scale space missions involving multiple systems and stakeholders.

Research interests: Space Mission Engineering, Systems Architecture, System Safety and Risk Assessment, Model-based Systems Engineering, Space Exploration Systems.

MS Students

Tyler Adams
Graduate Research Assistant
Tyler is from Phoenix, AZ, and received his Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering from BYU and is looking forward to specializing in Aerospace at Purdue. He's always had a love for fighter jets (pretty much any military aircraft) and his dream is to work on top secret projects in that area. He enjoys playing pretty much all sports; especially soccer, volleyball, tennis, and pickleball. He also loves to play the piano.

Research Interests: High Performance Aircraft, Design, and Simulation
Somrick Das Biswas
Graduate Research Assistant
Somrick is a Graduate Aerospace Engineering student and enthusiast at Purdue University. His interests include Systems Design, Sustainable Aviation, Rocket and Aero Engine design, Mechanical design, Aeromodelling, Thermodynamics, FEA, CFD, and CAD. He also enjoys debating, and is always up for a debate.

Research Interests: Aircraft Design, MDO, Systems Design, Mechanical Engineering.
Jonah Gerardus
Graduate Research Assistant
Jonah is a Master's Student at Purdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Jonah recently graduated from Purdue with his bachelor's in AAE. Currently, Jonah is performing research for the DoD to develop and enhance the DCTC Program at Purdue and working on a case study on UAM operations in international countries. He also has a strong background from previous research in data analytics and processing.

Research Interests: Autonomy and Controls, Optimization Algorithms, Urban Air Mobility
Brian Melching
Purdue Military Research Institute Fellow
Brian Melching received his Bachelor's in Aeronautical Engineering from the United States Air Force Academy and has commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. His research interest included aircraft flight test and controls, and in general research with a military technology innovation application. Following Purdue, he will continue his career as a pilot in the USAF.

Research interests: Flight Test, Controls, Design, Hypersonics
Seejay Patel
Knox Fellow
Seejay graduated with an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue in May of 2022. During his undergrad he was lucky enough to get introduced to research and Dr. D's lab through Nick Gunady. His research interests lie in Urban Air Mobility, specifically in operations and energy infrastructure. In June, he was apart of the team that won the FAA Smart Connected Aviation Student Competition with their Demand Response UAM infrastructure project. He is super excited to continue this work and do more research with the lab!

Research Interests: Urban Air Mobility, Advanced Air Mobility, Energy Infrastructure, MBSE, Reinforcement Learning
Liam Ward
Graduate Research Assistant - Pari
Liam Ward is originally from just outside of Philadelphia, PA. He graduated in May 2022 from Boston University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a concentration in Aerospace Engineering. At BU he served on the structures team of the student-led Rocket Propulsion Group (BURPG), helping to design and build the group’s next liquid-bipropellant rocket. As a Lutchen Distinguished Summer Research Fellow, he developed physics-informed deep learning methods to predict the behavior of complex dynamic systems. He has internship experience developing spaceflight hardware at ABL Space Systems, for the RS1 orbital launch vehicle, at Inversion Space, for a reusable reentry vehicle, and at Hedron Space, for a next-gen optical communications payload. Outside of STEM, Liam enjoys playing and listening to music, learning about history, and exploring new places.

Research Interests: Space Systems Engineering, Hypersonics Materials & Manufacturing, Thermal Protection Materials, Launch & Reentry Vehicles
Vladimir Zeltsman
Graduate Research Assistant
Originally from Ft. Lauderdale Florida, he completed his undergraduate studies here at Purdue. He currently specializes in Aerospace Systems.

Research Interests: Systems, Spacecraft, Aircraft