Skip navigation

Our People

Recent Graduates

Katharine Burn
Graduate Research Assistant
Hsun Chao
Post Doctoral Research Assistant
Christopher Debenham
Graduate Research Assistant
Liam Durbin
Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman
Joshua Fitch
Graduate Research Assistant
Josh completed his Masters thesis on the technologies, economics, and policy of Active Debris Removal for both LEO and GEO orbital debris. He has interned at NASA and Sierra Space and is currently a Space Operations Associate Engineer at SpaceX working on Dragon and HLS flight operations. His skills are in orbital mechanics and space mission design, systems engineering, flight operations, software development, and human factors. Josh intends to focus his career on contributing to reusable space transportation, earth science and climate science satellite missions, deep space interplanetary missions, and human space exploration architectures.

Research Interests: Astrodynamics, In-Space Servicing Assembly & Manufacturing, Active Debris Removal, Reusable Space Transportation, Space Situational Awareness, Flight Operations, Deep Space Exploration, Human Space Systems
Sai Mudumba
Graduate Research Assistant
Sean Nolan
Graduate Research Assistant
Sean Matthew Nolan was a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant. He received his B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and M.S. Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue in 2015 and 2018 respectively. His research interests include trajectory optimization via indirect methods and its applications. He was a summer researcher at the Mathematical Modeling and Optimization Institute working with the AFRL in 2016 and a summer intern at General Atomics in 2017 and 2018.

Research interests: Optimal Control, Indirect Methods, Reinforcement Learning, Hypersonics, Simulation, Numerical Methods.
Lauren Risany
Graduate Research Assistant
Lauren wasa Master’s student as part of Purdue’s 4+1 program. She received her Bachelor’s in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering in the spring of 2022 and is interested in autonomous, high-speed flight systems as well as machine learning-based fault-tolerant control methods. In addition to her work at Purdue, Lauren interns at Sandia National Laboratories where she works on real-time trajectory generation strategies for hypersonic boost-glide applications.

Research Interests: Autonomous Systems, Fault-Tolerant Control, Reinforcement Learning
Eli Sitchin
Graduate Research Assistant
Brandon Smith
Graduate Research Assistant
Varun Sudarsanan
Graduate Research Assistant
Ethan Wright
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Ethan Wright was a graduate researcher in the Advanced Air Mobility cluster.

Research interests: Network Design and Optimization, Aircraft Electrification, Wireless Power Transmission