MIT Aero Astro -

January 2017

In this issue:
1. Newsnotes
2. Honors and awards
3. In the picture
4. Water rockets

Richard Binzel

Richard Binzel

Aaron Ashley

Becky Masterson

Mark Chodas

Nancy Leveson




1. Newsnotes

Professor Larry Young notes that the new book, "How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight" by Julian Guthrie (Penguin Random House) tells the story of AeroAstro alumnus Peter Diamandis' (Course 7, '83, Course 16 MS '88) quest to privatize spaceflight. Young says that the book includes "numerous references to Course 16."

Professor Richard Binzel, AeroAstro,EAPS) is a science team member for two recently-announced NASA missions. On the Psyche Mission, he's responsible for asteroid composition analyses. On the Lucy Mission, he's responsible for earth-based observations.

Alumnus Aaron Ashley ('16) was featured in a recent issue of the the American Indian Science and Engineering Society's "Winds of Change" magazine. He's now a Master's candidate at the University of Colorado in Boulder, studying aerospace engineering with a focus in bioastronautics.

Two asteroids, formerly known as 120351 and 134178, have been renamed, respectively, "Beckymasterson" and "Markchodas," honoring their namesakes' (Research Engineer Becky Masterson and grad student Mark Chodas) roles in NASA's OSRIS-REx asteroid study and sample return mission.

Professor Nancy Leveson has just completed a contract with the U.S. Army regarding ensuring safety and cybersecurity for the Future Vertical Lift next generation military helicopter project during the early concept formation stage of development.

Professor Emeritus Tom Sheridan's latest book, "Models of Human-System Interaction: Philosophy, Examples and Challenges," was published this month by Wiley.

MIT's home page profiled AeroAstro senior Marlyse Reeves on December 20. "I ended up choosing AeroAstro because the people in the major I find are very passionate about not only aerospace but space exploration, and I really liked that vibe,” she says in the article.

Sertac Karaman

Fernando Mier-Hicks

Peter Belobaba

Mike Wittman

2. Honors and Awards

IEEE Robotics and Automation Society has named Professor Sertac Karaman recipient of its Early Career Award. The recognition "is bestowed on individuals in the early stage of their career, who have made an identifiable contribution or contributions which have had a major impact on the robotics and/or automation fields."

MIT Technology Review's Spanish edition has named PhD candidate Fernando Mier-Hicks one of its 10 Young Innovators Under 35.

Dr. Peter Belobaba was awarded the 2016 Impact Prize by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) at its Annual Meeting in October. He was recognized as one of a group of eight academic and industry researchers who have played a “pivotal role in the creation and wide-spread adoption of revenue management." AeroAstro Ph.D. candidate Mike Wittman won INFORMS Aviation Applications Section Best Student Presentation award at the organization's Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN. His presentation, “Customized Offers in Airline Revenue Management” was joint work with his advisor, Dr. Belobaba. Wittman’s research focuses on developing and testing dynamic pricing heuristics for use with soon-to-be-implemented airline distribution technology and revenue management systems.

Martin York Cadet of the Year
AeroAstro grad student Martin York has been named the 2016 Air Force Cadet of the Year. Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein presented York with the award in a December 12 Pentagon ceremony. For more on the award, read the story in MIT News.


3. In the picture

For the past five years, ANSYS, a world leader in engineering simulation software, has supported Aerospace Computational Design Laboratory (ACDL) graduate students. On November 18, Vice President of Research Dr. Dipankar Choudhury and Principal Engineer Dr. Christopher Hill visited MIT to mark the ANSYS Fellowship program's fifth anniversary, and to present an ACDL seminar talk, "The CFD Vision 2030 Study: A Commercial Software Development Perspective." 

ANSYS visit to MIT AeroAstro
Pictured during the ANSYS visit are (from left) Professor David Darmofal (ACDL faculty member), Philip Caplan (ACDL doctoral student and former ANSYS Fellow), Cory Frontin (ACDL masters student and former ANSYS Fellow), Arthur Huang (ACDL doctoral student and current ANSYS Fellow), Professor Jaime Peraire (AeroAstro head and ACDL faculty member), Dr. Choudhury, and Dr. Hill.



Grad student Alison Eve Gibson (right) was crew commander for a recent two-week analog Mars mission at the Mars Desert Research Station in the Utah desert. She writes, "Our crew of six was selected by a national organization called Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS-USA), and we came from universities across the country. Since MDRS is in a location that resembles Mars and we were required to wear 'space suits' and helmets when we exited the Hab, I was able to collect some data relevant to my thesis work, which involves the development and analysis of a multimodal information presentation device to help astronauts with obstacle avoidance during extra-vehicular activity.

MIT at Nextor anniversary workshop
MIT faculty, students, and alumni gathered at the National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research 20th anniversary workshop at the University of Maryland this fall. Pictured are (from left) Professor John Hansman, Sandro Salgueiro (grad student) Sathya Silva (NTSB) Alexandre Jacquillat (Carnegie Mellon University), Kamala Shetty (FAA), Fabrice Kunzi (General Atomics), Craig Wanke (MITRE) Tamas Kolos-Lakatos (AeroAstro grad student)  Bill Hall (Mosiac ATM) Professor Arnie Barnett (MIT Sloan).


4. Water rockets!

Professor Dave Darmofal offers some photos from this fall's Unified Water Bottle Rocket Competition.

MIT AeroAstro Unfied water bottle rockets Fall 2016
Unified Engineering students Haley Bates-Tarasewicz(left), Sabina Chen, and Jacob Swiezy prepare their rocket.

MIT AeroAstro Unfied water bottle rockets Fall 2016
Milo Knowles holds his team's water rocket while TA Philip Caplan (wearing ball cap) "fuels" it with H2O. Looking on are team members (front to rear) Anna Heid, Christine Chappelle, and Jordan Isler.

MIT AeroAstro Unfied water bottle rockets Fall 2016
Awardees proudly display their certificates. Winners were: First Place - Austin Floyd, Rockey Hester, Bradley Jomard, Tao Sevigny; Second Place - David Bambrick, Josef Biberstein, Hailey Nichols, Clarissa Sorrells; Third Place - Carlos Garcia, Matthew Guthmiller, David Mueller, Marek Subernat; Models of Consistency - Clarisse Caliman, Danielle Hecht, Logan Kluis, Alan Osmundson; "Fintastic" Flyers - Haley Bates-Tarasewicz, Sabina Chen, Jacob Swiezy; Outstanding Service - Philip Caplan.


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