VADL Team

Design Team

Zachary Friedman
President

Senior
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a Senior mechanical engineering major with a minor in engineering management. I have a lifelong passion for aerospace, and engineering interests in propulsion and aerodynamics. Now is an especially exciting time for space exploration, and I am thrilled to be a part of a team helping NASA to solve key space challenges. I look forward to gaining hands-on aerospace engineering experience, and learning how NASA manages complex engineering projects. It is a privilege to work alongside some of the most talented mechanical, electrical, and computer engineers at Vanderbilt and I look forward to this year’s competition.

Kai Malcolm
Vice President: Payload Lead

Senior
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a senior mechanical engineering major with minors in math, scientific computing, and electrical engineering. I’m interested in closed loop feedback control systems and human-centered cyber-physical systems, specifically in integrating how humans navigate between the digital and analog world. The NASA USLI has given me the opportunity to take ownership of a project from start to finish, and to work with a dedicated team.

Joseph Aquino
Vehicle Lead

Senior
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a senior mechanical engineering major who enjoys mechanical design and fluid mechanics as they pertain to the aerospace industry. VADL provides an ideal opportunity for me to develop my problem-solving abilities while learning more about the exciting challenges that exist in space exploration. I am looking forward to working with (and learning from) highly motivated and talented engineers as we compete in the NASA USLI competition.

Marissa Schwarz
Simulations Lead

Senior
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a senior mechanical engineering major with a minor in mathematics. I am passionate about the aerospace field and I am interested in propulsion. I look forward to taking part in NASA USLI, and I am excited to learn more about the aerospace industry and strengthen my engineering skills with this talented team.

Thomas Colicci
Vehicle Engineer

Senior
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a senior mechanical engineering major with a passion for aerospace applications. The prospect of space missions and the continued discovery of the field offer exciting opportunities every day, and being a member of VADL offers many of these same opportunities. I have always loved the design and problem-solving process, and competing in the NASA University Student Launch Initiative gives me a unique experience with these processes. I am excited for the opportunity to develop my skills as a professional engineer with VADL and our group of engineers.

Ozgur Orun
Vehicle Engineer

Senior
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a senior mechanical engineering major with a minor in computer science. I am interested in aerospace engineering, specifically aerodynamics and propulsion, for the purpose of space exploration. I believe pairing my engineering degree with the right design team will allow me to achieve my true potential. Therefore, I am very excited to work with the people of VADL on novel rocket-flyable payload designs while strengthening my mechanical problem-solving skills.

Brian Knapp
Avionics Engineer

Senior
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering interested in propulsion and other aerospace applications, especially for the purpose of space exploration. I am excited to get to work designing novel systems for this year's competition. After graduation I hope to enter the aerospace industry as a working engineer.

Kellen Lively
Electronics Engineer

Senior
Electrical Engineering

Resume

I am a senior Electrical Engineering and Physics double major. My passion of taking on challenges that push boundaries is what led me to VADL. I believe that the limitations of space exploration are nonexistent, for the creativity of technology allows us to push the ceiling. This is why I chose the two majors that I am currently in. I am extremely excited to further my knowledge in aerospace, and take on such an exciting project!

Abdul-Latif Gbadamoshie
Payload Engineer

Senior
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a senior Mechanical Engineering major with a minor in Computer Science. My passion lies in the intersection of software and hardware, and autonomous systems. I look forward to challenging myself on this project and gaining essential skills that’ll make me a better engineer post-graduation.

Sebastian Bond
Payload Engineer

Senior
Computer Engineering

Resume

I am a senior majoring in computer engineering with a broad range of experience in software, from real-time software such as game engines and OpenGL graphics to compiler implementation and native iOS app development. At the same time, I also enjoy learning about hardware and electronics while specializing in embedded systems. As VADL is a good challenge, I aspire to gain skills in teamwork and strong implementation testing techniques while implementing intelligent autonomous systems.

Ethan Mayer
Payload Engineer

Senior
Computer Engineering

Resume

I am a senior computer engineer with minors in engineering management and mathematics. I am interested in the field of embedded systems and enjoy working on practical applications of computer and systems engineering. Having the opportunity to be on VADL gives me an opportunity to use my skill set to contribute to one of the nation's best interdisciplinary collegiate rocket teams. I am excited to work towards NASA's 2022 Student Launch and am looking forward to enriching myself by working with the incredibly talented team.

Henry Green
Outreach Lead

Senior
Secondary Education

Resume

I am a senior double major in secondary education and political science. I am passionate about improving the of education in public schools and believe that the resources afforded to VADL can help engage future engineers across the Nashville Metro Area. I’m looking forward to bringing this bright group of engineers into the classroom so that students of all ages can find both joy and enrichment in participating with the group’s educational outreach initiative.

Graduate Mentors

Cameron Schepner
Engineering Mentor

Masters Student
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a Mechanical Engineering Masters student who took part in the 2020-2021 VADL team as president. I intend on pursuing a career in the aerospace exploration industry, and I love taking part in challenging projects. I am excited to be an advisor to this year's promising group of engineers.

Claire Brown
Outreach Mentor

PHD Student
Mechanical Engineering

Resume

I am a Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Student with a Minor in Computer Science. My research interest is sustainable rocket propulsion for space exploration. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Appalachian State University where I minored in Astronomy due to my passion for exploring the Universe. During my undergraduate career I became very involved in K-12 outreach and discovered my love for inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. I hope to go on to work as a mechanical engineer in the Aerospace industry, finding ways to make space exploration greener. I’m very excited to help the VADL in their outreach initiative this year!

Underclassmen

Samantha Civil
Field Engineer

Freshman
Mechanical Engineering

David Gao
Field Engineer

Freshman
Mechanical Engineering

Ian Morgan
Field Engineer

Freshman
Mechanical Engineering

Background Image: NASA, ESA, STScI