Pavithra joined the Asteroid Deflection Research Center (ADRC) at Iowa State University in fall 2012 as a master’s student. During his program, he investigated the properties of nuclear disruption as an approach to mitigate asteroid collision threats. The scenarios of nuclear subsurface explosions and kinetic impacts on asteroids were modeled using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH), a Lagrange particle method. An in-house algorithm developed by Dr. Brian Kaplinger (former ADRC member) and a commercial algorithm developed by ANSYS, Inc. was utilized for this purpose. Dr. Bong Wie and Dr. John Basart provided the necessary guidance for his research work which was funded by NIAC (NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts). Pavithra graduated in the spring of 2014, and he is currently working under Dr. Hui Hu at the Advanced Flow Diagnostics and Experimental Aerodynamics Laboratory pursuing my PhD.
Brian is a graduate student in Aerospace Engineering and is working on a variety of projects for the ADRC. He received his undergraduate degree in May 2009, and has been working in the ADRC since 2007. He got interested when Dr. Wie subbed one of his controls class and asked for volunteers and Brian said he’d be interested. In the ADRC, Brian is involved in computer modeling and simulation of asteroid deflection strategies. He’s currently working on simulating fragmented asteroids, and extending the ADRC’s models to graphics card applications. The new world of GPU-processing is opening new doors in solving complex problems, and Brian is working on adapting current models for these new platforms. In the past, Brian has worked on standoff nuclear explosions.
Brian is from Omaha, NE and in the future would like to be a professor. He is in the straight-to-Ph.D program and anticipates graduating in 2012.
After finishing his PhD and receiving a research excellence award from Iowa State University in the fall of 2014, Sam Wagner accepted a position as a Senior Research Engineer at BAE Systems Inc in the Electronic Solutions division in Burlington Masachusetts. He is currently working as an optimization expert in the area of battlefield management and mission operations.
Upon getting his M.E. in Aerospace Engineering under Dr. Wie, Dan accepted a full-time position at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, IA. Dan is currently a Sr. Platform Systems Engineer in the Global Helicopter Systems group, and works as the International Chinook Test Lead. He supports multiple CH-47F Chinook platforms, including the U.S. Army, the Royal Canadian Air Force, and the Italian Army. In addition to overseeing platform and subsystem avionics software testing, he has an active role in coordinating and designing software solutions, as well as supporting CH-47F flight testing.
Dan lives in Marion, Iowa and recently had the chance to visit Alan Pitz in Prince Frederick, MD. Alan was also a graduate student under Dr. Wie, and they frequently keep in touch after working closely with Alan at the ADRC.
Alan Pitz joined the ADRC in January of 2009 and has published several articles for journals and conference regarding spacecraft system architecture. Alan’s largest contribution was the conceptual design of a Hypervelocity Asteroid Intercept Vehicle (HAIV). Alan’s past work includes planetary defense technology demonstration missions, earth-impact probability of disrupted asteroid fragments, and terminal-phase guidance and control of asteroid interceptors. Alan graduated from Iowa State University in 2012 with a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, he is currently employed by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. He resides in Maryland with his wife, Melissa.
Matt Hawkins graduated with his Ph.D. in May, 2013, receiving a research excellence award and teaching excellence award from the university. In June, 2013 he began working as a guidance engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. He works for Jacobs Engineering, a major contractor at MSFC. Matt is a member of the guidance team for the SLS (Space Launch System), designing and testing guidance algorithms and developing flight software. In January, 2015 he became a subelement lead for Jacobs, serving as a technical lead for the guidance and navigation disciplines. Matt lives in Huntsville, Alabama.
Dr Yanning Guo graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Automation from Shandong University in 2006, with a Master’s degree in the Department of Control Science and Engineering from Harbin Institute of Technology in 2008. In 2012 he received his PhD from Harbin Institute of Technology. Dr Guo’s main research intrests include fuel-efficient Planetary Landing Guidance, Guidance Algorithms for Asteroid Intercept and Rendezvous, Spacecraft Attitude Control and Singularity Steering Logic Development for Control Moment Gyros. In 2012 Dr Guo was a visiting student under Dr Bong Wie at the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State University. He has contributed to multiple international research papers. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Control Science and Engineering at Harbin Institute of Technology.
Tim Winkler received both his Bachelor and Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University in 2011 and 2013 respectively. As a graduate student, Tim was part of the Asteroid Deflection Research Center (ADRC) under Dr. Bong Wie researching first how to select target asteroids for a deflection/disruption demonstration mission and fuel-efficient, closed-loop control of spacecraft orbiting around small bodies. Upon graduation, he accepted a job offer from The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, CA working as a Guidance Analyst for Delta IV and Atlas V launch vehicles.