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Our People

Principal Investigator

Karen Marais
Associate Professor
ARMS 3325

Dr. Karen Marais' research focuses on developing ways to deliver value through reliability, safety, and sustainability. On the theme of reliability, she is interested in how decisions about reliability and maintenance affect the value delivered by systems. She has shown, for example, that a focus on cost can result in a decrease in value. On the theme of safety, she is interested in how we can design and operate complex systems to work with human nature, rather than attempting to force people to be constantly vigilant and never make mistakes. She is currently extending this safety work to the prevention of other project failures too. Dr. Marais also works on data-driven approaches to improving aviation safety, in particular, on developing ways to use smartphone and other device data to improve General Aviation safety. On sustainability, Dr. Marais' primary focus is on the environmental impacts of aviation. Here, she investigates operational improvements that can reduce aviation emissions. She is the author of several technical publications, including 16 journal papers and two book chapters. She received an NSF CAREER award in 2014.

Dr. Karen Marais has worked in engineering for two decades. Dr. Marais holds a B. Eng. in electrical and electronic engineering from the University of Stellenbosch and a B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of South Africa. She also holds a master’s degree in space-based radar from MIT. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT in 2005. Prior to graduate school, she worked in South Africa as an electronic engineer.

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Graduate Students

Diane Aloisio
Graduate Research Assistant

Diane Aloisio is a PhD student in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. Her research concentrates on taking a systems approach to finding the common causes of industrial accidents and project failures. Diane received a dual BS degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from University at Buffalo in New York. Diane enjoys rock climbing, motorcycling, flying small aircraft, and generally thinks that the only hobbies worth doing are the dangerous sort.

Divya Bhargava
Graduate Teaching Assistant

Divya Bhargava is a Master's student in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. She does research on General Aviation safety. She received her Bachelors Degree in Aerospace Engineering from SRM University, Chennai, India. She likes cooking, dancing and watching Disney movies.

Arpan Chakraborty
Graduate Research Assistant
Arpan Chakraborty is a Master’s student in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. He does research on the feasibility of low cost components to be used for data collection for General Aviation safety. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal, India. Arpan has previously worked for Honeywell Flight Management Systems as an Aircraft Performance software-system engineer. He enjoys swimming, playing tennis and soccer, and likes theatre and movies.
Nicoletta Fala
Graduate Research Assistant

Nicoletta Fala is a PhD student in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. Nicoletta received her undergraduate degree degree from Purdue in May 2014, with minors in Manufacturing Graphics and French. In her free time, Nicoletta enjoys reading, expanding her knowledge in different areas, playing music, and flying general aviation planes.

Georgios Georgalis
Graduate Research Assistant

Georgios is currently a PhD student in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University and has completed his undergraduate degree at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA). He is interested in Systems Engineering and gets fascinated by complex socio-technical problems. During his Masters studies at Purdue, Georgios worked on an experiment that flew on Blue Origin’s suborbital rocket to space. In his free time, he enjoys watching TV shows, playing games and working out. He is also an aviation geek and frequent flyer.

Neelakshi Majumdar
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Neelakshi is a Master’s student in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. Her major is Dynamics and Controls and her minor is Aerospace Systems. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics and Communication engineering from India and have a two years of work experience as a Programmer Analyst at Cognizant. She is currently an instructor for undergraduate students at Purdue Polytechnic as a graduate staff member and a Student Pilot at Purdue Aviation. Her research topic is Analysis and Modeling of Fixed-wing Aircraft Accidents using a State Based Approach. She enjoys swimming, painting, and traveling.
Kimberly Rink
Knox Fellowship - Grouped
Kimberly Rink is a Master’s student in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Purdue in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. Her research is a joint effort with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory to determine how and why space exploration missions are affected by deviations from standard design processes. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the guitar and being outdoors.

Previous Group Members

Krysta Rolle Project Failure Analysis BS (expected May 2018) Undergraduate student at Purdue Polytechnic
Kim Rink Project Failure Analysis BS (May 2017) Masters student at Purdue VRSS
Alex Ilmain Runway Incursion Analysis BS (May 2017) Engineer at Rockwell Collins
Rakshit Chandrahasa SoS Resilience MS (May 2017) Systems Engineer at Intelligrated Inc.
Arjun Rao General Aviation Safety PhD (Dec 2016) Research Scientist at The Ohio State University
Stephen Builta Air Traffic Fuel Burn Analysis MS (Dec 2016) Flight Test Engineer at Lockheed Martin
Weronika Juszczak Project Failure Analysis BS (May 2016) Manufacturing Engineer at Arconic
Valentine Goblet General Aviation Safety MS (May 2016) Engineer at Rockwell Collins
Yiging Ding SoS Resilience BS (May 2016) Masters student at Stanford University
Jingjing Guo Air Traffic Control Risk Analysis PhD (Dec 2015) Edison Engineer at GE Global Research
Diane Sorenson Project Failure Analysis MS (Aug 2015) PhD candidate at Purdue VRSS
Hang Sheng Stratospheric Fuel Burn MS (Aug 2015) Entrepeneur
Payuna Uday SoS Resilience Environmental Impacts of Aviation

PhD (May 2015), MS (June 2011)

Consultant at Landrum and Brown
Tiffany Le Airport Surface Operations MS (May 2014) System Engineer at Boeing Aircraft
Jessica Rivas Total Ownership Cost MS (May 2014) Engineer at the Electric Boat Company
David Rankine Value of Energy BS (May 2014) Engineer at Alcoa
Sarah Arnac Aviation Data Analysis BS (May 2013) Design Engineer at Scaled Composites
John Yerant Aviation Data Analysis BS (May 2013) Project Engineer at Sikorsky
Kevin Fernandes Value of Energy MS (May 2013) Technical Consultant at Internshop Communications
Madhur Khadabadi Value of Energy MS (Dec 2013) Engineer at Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems
Matthew Hill Aviation Reliability Analysis BS (Dec 2011) Systems Engineer at Boeing
Delri Muller Environmental Impacts of Aviation MS (June 2011) Logistics Manager at Unilever
Matthew Robichaud Aviation Maintenance Accidents MS (May 2011) Engineer at Bombardier
Hyeoncheol Baik Air Traffic Delay Management MS (May 2011) PhD Student at SUNY