Mateus Pinheiro is a 5th year aerospace engineering student who has held multiple leadership positions including: president and treasurer of the Unmanned Autonomous Systems Club, UAV Lab manager, president and vice-president of Cal Poly Pomona’s Ultimate Frisbee team, webmaster of Cal Poly Pomona’s section of AIAA, and leader of multiple aerospace class project and laboratory teams. He also played a key role in Cal Poly Pomona’s 2017-2018 AUVSI-SUAS international competition team, which broke the school’s all-time record, placing 18th out of 69 and as the number one team from California. He is honored to have been selected as this year’s project manager for the NASA Student Launch Initiative and will be using his leadership and competition experience to guide his team to success.
Aaron Rangel is a senior aerospace engineering student at Cal Poly Pomona. He has a developed an interest in model based systems engineering and seeks to apply its methodology towards winning the 2018-1029 NSL competition. It is Aaron's goal to ensure that all of his future projects are well architected and have full traceability among their elements. He believes all stakeholders, engineers and customers alike, should be able to pull a project's string and immediately see where it leads, what it interacts with, and what it turns into.
Riley Jasperson is a senior aerospace engineering student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. This will be Riley’s first season participating in the NASA Student Launch Initiative. He has achieved the Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America, having acquired his first aid, rocketry, and wilderness survival merit badges, among many others. As an Eagle Scout, he understands the importance of following a strict set of safety guidelines and also possesses the communication and leadership skills necessary to ensure the safety of his team members, the public, and the environment. Riley holds a Tripoli Level 1 rocketry certification and hopes to be an example for future students who wish to explore their focus in diverse industries.
Juan Velazquez is an undergraduate senior at Cal Poly Pomona. Being the only Mechanical Engineering student on the NASA Student Launch Initiative, he provides all insight and theoretical analysis on the strength and structural integrity of materials. His interest in rocketry began at a young age but came to full fruition once he became the manufacturing engineer for the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Comptetion on campus. During his involvement with the payload subteam, he machined a steel payload system with ejection. He has been working in construction for more than five years as a field service mechanic for VIP Garage Doors and Painting Inc. where his services included being a sales representative and a repair technician. He also has experience in MIG/TIG welding, CAD Modeling and machinist work. On his spare time, Juan enjoys crafting music production, cinematography, and cooking.
Elias Medina is a senior Aerospace Engineering student and it is his first time participating in the NASA Student Launch Initiative under the Structures Team. Elias has served as a team lead for several team projects including: aerospace structures lab analysis, subsonic wind tunnel testing, supersonic wind tunnel testing, and control systems analysis. In addition, he currently serves as a Non-Commissioned Officer for the United States Marine Corps as an Artillery Electronics Technician where he applies his knowledge and experience to aid in maintenance and development of innovative designs for future military technology. He is especially interested in the design and development of launch vehicles. Elias is also a participating member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Undergraduate Missiles Ballistics and Rocketry Association (UMBRA).
Since he was a baby, Lexington Mowatt was never ordinary. Instead of crying while a plane took off, he cried when he had to get off the plane. Growing up, he played a lot of sci-fi games and wondered, “Why can’t we land, refuel, and fly a rocket like an airplane?” Thus, a goal formed in his head to create a truly reusable rocket. Now as a third year Aerospace engineering major, Lexington plans to use the NASA Student Launch program as his first step into accomplish his goal.
Marco Arias is a senior in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, an applied researcher, and former machinist. He is a member of the Structures Team and is on route to graduate in the Spring of 2019. Marco transferred to Cal Poly Pomona in the Fall of 2017 from Riverside City College, where he received his associates degrees in Physics and Mathematics. The Honors Program at Riverside City College allowed him to gain several years of experience conducting undergraduate research. Marco is an experienced machinist and performance engine builder. He has over 4 years of experience machining and building high horsepower engines and over 6 years of experience in the automotive industry. Since childhood, Marco has been interested in problem solving and tinkering with mechanisms for fun. NASA Student Launch Initiative is a direct fit for Marco, especially since research, problem solving, and manufacturing are key components of the program and specifically the structures team.
Caroline is currently a 5th year aerospace engineering student at Cal Poly Pomona. This is her first time participating in the NASA Student Launch Initiative as the team lead for the propulsion sub-team. Her interests include learning about rocket propulsion and aerodynamics and enjoys being involved in rocketry projects. She has achieved level one status certification through the Tripoli Rocketry Association and has been an active member of Cal Poly Pomona’s rocketry club called Undergraduate Missiles and Ballistics Rocketry Association (UMBRA) since 2017. She gained most of her knowledge about rocket propulsion from being part of 2017-2018 Cal Poly Pomona’s Spaceport America team where she helped design and fly the only known successful student designed rocket motor in CPP history. In addition, she is also a national member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and is the scheduler for the student chapter at Cal Poly Pomona.
Leara Dominguez is a 3rdyear undergraduate aerospace engineering student who is the only returning member in the NASA Student Launch Team. She has led multiple leadership positions under miniature aerospace projects including Remote Control Airplane Lab, Wind Tunnel Lab Experiment, Water Bottle Rocket Experiment, and Turbo Jet Engine Experiment. Additionally, she is currently an undergraduate project research scientist for the NASA JPL Voyager III project, under the astrophysics team; studying Cold Atom Interferometry and Interstellar Dust and Plasma Properties. Her interests beyond aerospace include health, fitness and nutrition. And outside of the academic arena, Leara participates in strength and conditioning training and weight-lifting sports, with her favorites being squats, deadlift, bench press, and barbell row.
Christopher Hamilton is a 3rd year aerospace engineering student. Chris’ leadership experience spans leading multiple class projects and experiments as well as attaining the positions of vice president of the Unmanned Autonomous Systems Club and hardware team lead of the AUVSI-SUAS competition team this year at Cal Poly. This is his first year participating in the NASA Student Launch Competition Team and his first year leading a team in aerodynamics. In his free time, Chris enjoys listening to music, researching aircraft history, and bowling.
Andrew Calinescu is a 4th year aerospace engineering major who is seeking to apply his skills to this years NASA Student Launch team. He was a member of the 2017-2018 Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (IREC) aerodynamics team and is the captain of Cal Poly Pomona’s Ultimate Frisbee team.
Jason Anaya is a 5thyear Aerospace Engineering student at Cal Poly Pomona and is participating in the NASA Student Launch team for the first time under the aerodynamics team. Jason has been a part of many clubs on campus including American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, and International Council On Systems Engineering and has also served as a hack-a-thon mentor at Mission College. Jason enjoys attending workshops, conferences and other engineering events outside of campus to expand his knowledge. During his free time, he also likes volunteering in engineering programs for younger students by participating in panels and workshops to share his knowledge and experiences. At Cal Poly Pomona, he has also held leadership positions outside of engineering being a social justice leader at the Cesar E. Chavez Center for Higher Education, serving as sergeant-at-arms for Lambda Theta Phi and being president of NALFO council. His interests are both in designing aeronautical and space vehicles as well as integrating artificial intelligence. He plans on getting his pilot’s license as well as applying his knowledge and experience in Silicon Valley upon graduating.
Ryan Yanagi is a 4th year Aerospace Engineering student at Cal Poly Pomona. This is his first year participating in the NASA Student Launch Initiative as the team lead for the payload sub-team. He is part of several other teams and projects, including Cal Poly Pomona’s Liquid Rocket Lab Cygnus Project, Society of Women’s Engineers Boeing Team Tech Competition, the UAV Stereoscopic Vision Collision Avoidance project, and various labs and flight test teams. Additionally, he serves as a student leader In Epic Movement at Cal Poly Pomona. Ryan is honored to use his interests in design and aerodynamics to help lead the Cal Poly Pomona NASA Student Launch Competition Team through a successful year.
Jon is currently a second year Aerospace Engineering student. This is his first year on the team and through this project, he hopes to expand upon his engineering knowledge and gain more hands on experience working with high power rocketry. Jon has served as a team lead for several projects, and additionally serves as the Underclassmen Representative for Cal Poly Pomona’s AIAA student branch. He is also a member of Undergraduate Missiles Ballistics and Rocketry Association (UMBRA) and Combat Robotics Club. Some of Jon’s hobbies include robotics, doing CAD, and eating ice cream sandwiches.
Nicholas Hall is currently a second year Aerospace Engineering student. This year he hopes to gain more hands on experience in rocketry and apply the theory learned in classes to real world problems. In high school he was very active on his school’s First Robotics Competition team. Acting as the lead mechanical engineer for 3 years, and driver of the robot for two years, he gained a lot of hands on experience in the manufacturing and assembly of mechanical components. Currently he is the Webmaster for AIAA and also plays on Cal Poly Pomona’s Ultimate Frisbee team.
Michael Doan, a 3rd year Aerospace Engineering student who is part of NASA Student Launch and AUVSI-SUAS competition teams. He was the hardware engineer and flight line personnel for the 2017-2018 Cal Poly Pomona AUVSI-SUAS team which placed the highest for the state of California at 18th out of 69 teams. He currently holds two leadership positions, 2018-2019 AUVSI-SUAS project lead and Unmanned Autonomous Systems’ Treasurer. He is also associated with Undergraduate Missiles Ballistics and Rocketry Association (UMBRA) and Bronco Esports Junior Varsity competition team which placed top 32 out of 256 teams in North America. This is Michael’s first time participating in NSL, and he is glad to be on the payload team tackling this year’s challenge.
Khoa Vo is an undergraduate sophomore in Electrical Engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. This is his first time participating in NASA Student Launch Initiative as an Outreach Team Lead. He organizes events with educational, hands-on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities for the community. Furthermore, he establishes a social media presence to inform the public about team activities and manages the team’s outreach portion on the website. He is involved in several other clubs on campus such as Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers Power & Energy Society (IEEE PES), Formula SAE, and Northrop Grumman Cal Polytechnic (NGCP). He has several hobbies such as swimming and go on food adventures.