President: Owen Marr

Aerospace Engineering: Undergraduate, Junior

Owen is the President of SEDS@UM for the 2018-2019 school year. Owen is a junior in Aerospace Engineering and loves all things space. He joined SEDS in 2017, working on the outreach and technical project teams in SEDS. Owen is from Okemos Michigan and is a UofM Greater Lansing Area Alumni Association scholarship recipient. He enjoys skiing and boating in his free time.

Vice President: Amit Kothekar

Aerospace Engineering: Undergraduate, Senior

Amit Kothekar is studying Aerospace Engineering and is from New York City. His main interest is in space systems with a concentration in space dynamics and propulsion systems. Amit joined SEDS as a freshman and was the SEDS co-outreach chair before becoming co-president. Amit is also on the AIAA outreach committee. He is focused on expanding interest in STEM fields and is very enthusiastic about helping others learn and gain interest in the aerospace discipline. After graduating from Michigan, he hopes to dive into the mission oriented aerospace industry or defense industry. In his free time, Amit likes to play/watch soccer, listen to music and travel.

Vice President: Alexander Sena

Aerospace Engineering: Undergraduate, Senior

Alexander Sena is Co-Vice President of SEDS@UM and formerly the President and Outreach Chair. He is a senior in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Physics. Most of his work is in Human-Robotic Interaction specializing in VR/AR applications for future astronauts. The history of space exploration from Tsiolkovsky onward including the Gemini and Apollo programs are huge fields of interest that Alex researches on a regular basis.

Social Chair: Rosie Van Alsburg

Engineering Physics: Undergraduate, Junior

Rosie Van Alsburg is a junior studying Engineering Physics and Computer Science, with a minor in Space Engineering. She is the social chair of SEDS@UM, and joined in January 2018. She is also a part of Girls in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, as well as a feminist sorority (Zeta Omega Eta).

Rosie first discovered her passion for flight when she told her mother she wanted to be a flight attendant, because she loved flying. When she was told she could be a pilot instead, her vision widened. In high school, Rosie rediscovered her passion for aero and astronautics when she received a student pilots license, and watched all of Star Trek (all seven series and 13 films).

Today Rosie enjoys all science fiction, especially Star Trek and The Expanse, and hopes to be working towards a permanent human presence in space.

Outreach Chair: Sahil Farishta

Aerospace & Computer Science: Undergraduate, Junior

Sahil Farishta is junior studying Computer Science and Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. He is the outreach chair of the UM SEDS club and joined in his sophomore year. He is also a part of the Michigan Exploration Lab where he works on software for satellite and high altitude balloon missions.

Sahil has been interested in space since he was a child when he watched space documentaries with his family and got his first space textbook. Sahil enjoys reading and watching cricket in his free time. He hopes to work on autonomy for deep space probes and satellites, combining his two majors. 

Outreach Chair: Rupal Nigam

Computer Science: Undergraduate, Junior

Rupal Nigam is currently a junior studying computer science and aerospace engineering with a minor in mathematics. She joined SEDS her freshman year and is also in MXL (Michigan Exploration Lab). Rupal loves anything and everything related to space ever since she got her hands on her first astronomy textbook in third grade. She loves the applications of computer science in the space industry and hopes to work on artificial intelligence on deep-space missions. Her hobbies include star gazing, writing poetry, reading, and martial arts.

Treasurer: Christopher Bert

Space Science - Heliophysics: Graduate, PhD

Hello fellow space enthusiasts! My name is Chris, former secretary and current treasurer of SEDS@UM and the current secretary on the SEDS-USA national Board of Directors. Part of what has attracted to me to SEDS is that it’s not just about engineering. Being able to expand our civilization beyond Earth requires passionate people of all disciplines; from financiers and entrepreneurs and lawyers who make the endeavor possible, to the scientists and philosophers who lay the foundation for wanting to reach towards the stars, to the storytellers and artists who inspire us to envision such a future. I really see this club as an opportunity to come together to share a simple love of all things space, and perhaps together we can make that future into reality.

This is my third year at the University of Michigan, having completed my undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy at the University of Massachusetts. I am pursuing a PhD in the department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering (CLaSP), in addition to finishing up the MEng in Space Systems Engineering. In particular, I am fascinated by the Sun and its interaction with the planets, generally referred to as heliophysics. My current research focuses on plasma physics in the solar wind, but I look forward to a career helping to conceive and lead exploration missions of all sorts.

Council of Chapters Rep: Julia Garner

Aerospace Engineering: Undergraduate, Senior

Julia is a senior undergraduate student studying Aerospace Engineering. She joined SEDS at UM her junior year, and will be their Chair of the Council of Chapters during her senior year. Julia also assists with research in UM’s Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering department, where she is designing elements for a satellite. In her freetime, she likes to hike, kayak and spend time with friends and family.

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