top of page

ABOUT ME

My expertise includes a diverse blend of spaceflight instrument test, spacecraft communication system design, radio frequency test, and cryogenics skills as well as system administration, student mentoring, data analysis, and computer modeling. 

At the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics my work as an instrument engineer pulls on my many diverse skill sets. Approximately half of my job is in support of cubesat-borne scientific instruments (in-lab test and development), while the other half is in support of our myriad cubesats' radio frequency communication systems (in-lab test, ground station maintenance and upgrades, and on-orbit operations). This means I am responsible for parts of a cubesat's entire life cycle. I am there to develop and test the scientific payloads until they are ready for integration and spaceflight. I am ensuring the cubesats can communicate with our ground station, and that our ground station is ready to receive all of the science data. Once on orbit, I am debugging the communication link to ensure maximal downlink of science data, working with the operations team to diagnose and fix issues. I will be listening when the cubesats send their last beacons and de-orbit.

At Blue Canyon Technologies my work in radio frequency design and test relied heavily on my ability to multi-task. On a given day I could design a test suite, root-cause a failure on a printed circuit, create automated code for test campaigns, balance a link margin to ensure a communications link will close, build a radio from scrapped components, troubleshoot an FPGA build, or present information to customers who may have no experience with spaceflight. This all required excellent documentation, communication, and flexibility.

For my thesis work I integrated detector arrays into a cryogenic testbed that I co-designed, built, and maintained. I designed and conducted tests to characterize detector properties and wrote a Python codebase to analyze the test data. 

I also modeled molecular gas dynamics in galaxy merger NGC 6240 using ALMA data and the Line Modeling Engine. The model characterized the  physical parameters of the system and allowed us to investigate potential outflows and tidal tails in this dynamic system.

I have many other science-related interests including mission design, scientific outreach, and science policy. My CV contains more details. 

informal_photo.jpg

EDUCATION

RESEARCH BACKGROUND

Astrophysical Instrumentation

Test and integration of far-infrared kinetic inductance detectors

2013-2019

University of Colorado Boulder

Ph.D. in Astrophysics

Molecular Cloud Dynamics

Computer modeling of carbon monoxide gas in galaxy merger NGC 6240

2009-2013

University of California Berkeley

B.A. in Physics and Astrophysics

bottom of page