Department of Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan

Panel Discussion: “Vision and Passion: Conversations on Creativity, Innovation and Discovery.”

Date: March 14, 2018
Time: 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Location: SRB Auditorium, room 2246

The SPACE 583: Space System Design Management class presents a panel discussion titled “Vision and Passion: Conversations on Creativity, Innovation and Discovery.”  

The panel guests include, Steve Battel, of Battel EngineeringProfessor Supriya Chakrabarti of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell; and Jonny Dyer of Google

This dicusssion is open to the public - please join us! 


Steve Battel: Steven Battel is a graduate of the University of Michigan with 41 years of experience as a system engineer, designer and manager for NASA and DoD space projects. He is known within the space community for his science and engineering leadership related to the development of innovative electronic systems and scientific space instruments for Earth observing, planetary geochemistry, space physics and astrophysics applications. President of Battel Engineering since 1990, Steve previously held research, engineering and management positions at the University of Michigan, the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Arizona.

Steve’s areas of specialization include system design and engineering, low-noise instrumentation, avionics and power systems for space applications. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in the design and development of unique space high voltage systems especially for systems intended for operation in challenging planetary environments. Previous hardware projects include instrumentation systems for Gravity Probe-B, the HST-COS instrument, the Mars-Phoenix TEGA-MS sensor, the Mars Science Laboratory SAM Instrument, Rosetta IES, AIM-CIP, LADEE-NMS and MAVEN-NGIMS and MAVEN-IUVS. Current projects include high voltage, power, and precision electronic hardware for the ExoMars MOMA electronics system, the Mars 2020 PIXL 30 kV x-ray high voltage system, power electronics for ion propulsion, power electronics for dynamic tethers, a +/- 75 kV dipole radiation shield, and a -100 kV high voltage demonstration prototype for planetary pickup ion measurements.

Steve is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of Sigma Xi. He is a former member of the Space Studies Board (SSB) and a current member of the Aerospace Science and Engineering Board (ASEB) for the National Academies. He has also participated in more than 90 review and advisory boards for NASA missions. Current missions he is involved with include, Parker Solar Probe, Europa Clipper, Europa Lander, GOES, TDRS, ICON, RESTORE-L, Mars 2020, Landsat9, NISAR, SWOT, WFIRST, PSYCHE and IXPE.

Professor Supriya Chakrabarti: Professor Supriya Chakrabarti obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Calcutta and his Ph. D. from the University of California, Berkeley. As a part of his Ph. D. dissertation, he built a sounding rocket payload containing five Extreme Ultraviolet telescopes to study the aurora, participated in the development of a spectrograph flown aboard the U. S. Air Force STP78-1 satellite and analyzed data from the ApolloSoyuz Test Project.

Dr. Chakrabarti became a Senior Fellow at the Space Sciences Laboratory of the University of California at Berkeley in 1983 and started a research program in UV studies of terrestrial and planetary atmospheres. While at Berkeley he was awarded a sounding rocket program in UV Astrophysics, participated in several satellite and one shuttle missions.

In 1992, Dr. Chakrabarti joined Boston University. His research group continued the development of various ultraviolet instruments including a high throughput imaging spectrograph and an interferometer for high resolution imaging spectroscopy applications. His group developed and launched a small satellite called TERRIERS and continued with astrophysics as well as aeronomy research using these tools.

The research team joined the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in 2012 where they expanded into topics such as characterization of forest structure using a novel lidar and direct imaging of exoplanetary environments using coronagraphic systems from sounding rockets and balloons while continuing terrestrial upper atmospheric studies using ground based visible and an ultraviolet hyperspectral imager currently flying aboard the International Space Station. Students are involved in all of these experiments where they design, build and test instruments the lab, operate them in the field and analyze the returned data. Dr. Chakrabarti is leading a team of undergraduate students who are building a CUBESat that will fly later this year.

Professor Chakrabarti currently Directs the Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology (LoCSST) – an interdisciplinary research center and also the Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Collaborations (UROC), the campus-wide coordinating unit for undergraduate research.

Jonny Dyer: Jonny is an inventor and engineer passionate about understanding the Universe and our place in it. He revels in opportunities to apply his technical, leadership, learning and mentoring skills in places positively impacting humanity, the environment and our relationship with the world around us. Jonny has wide-ranging interests and past his professional experience ranges broadly from propulsion technology to imaging; from energy systems to spacecraft systems engineering.

Jonny currently leads Google's team developing hardware mapping systems, the most visible of which are the StreetView cars. Prior to that Jonny served as the Chief Engineer of Skybox Imaging for over seven years. Joining as the third employee, he was instrumental in developing the frst VC-funded space startup from an idea on a cocktail napkin to an organization that deployed the worlds largest constellation of high-resolution Earth Remote Sensing satellites.

Before Skybox Jonny spent 5 years performing fundamental research on rocket propulsion technologies in internships at SpaceX and Blue Origin, graduate research in the Stanford Aero Astro propulsion lab and then in industry at the Space Propulsion Group.

Jonny holds a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University where he focused in aerospace, energy systems and mechatronics. While studying, he also had the privilege of lettering for three years with the Stanford Baseball team, teaching hands-on manufacturing in the world-renowned Product Realization Lab and teaching undergraduates in the Energy Systems capstone class.

This dicusssion is open to the public - please join us! 

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