The Board & Staff

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The Board of Directors

The board of SEDS USA is comprised of the Chair, Vice-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Chair of Council of Chapters, and two Member at Larges. Each position is held for 1-Year increments with the election process occurring at the annual SpaceVision conference.

Position Descriptions

Chair

A proven leader who has a well-rounded idea of not only what it takes to foster and grow an organization but also how to balance that with realistic constraints. The Chair's main duties include but are not limited to:

  • Lead the Board of Directors and SEDS-USA
  • Schedule and preside over regular meetings
  • Coordinate and manage the efforts of Board and Staff members
  • Provide vision for the future of the organization

Vice-Chair

Someone who can take over for the Chair when necessary and be effective at managing the national team. In addition, this officer coordinates partners and sponsors in industry and beyond. The Vice-Chair's main duties include but are not limited to:

  • Manage national fundraising, including for the annual SpaceVision conference
  • Serve as the face of SEDS-USA to industry and organizational partners
  • Ensure effective communication between the Boards of Directors. Trustees, and Advisors
  • Assume the role of Chair when called upon

Treasurer

Someone who really wants to learn about handling the accounting for a national 501(c)3 organization. This is an incredible opportunity for those business/finance/accounting students that are having a hard time finding where their skills fit into the space industry. The Treasurer's main duties include but are not limited to:

  • Ensure continuation of the organization’s nonprofit status
  • Manage SEDS-USA donations and spending
  • Develop and revise an annual budget

Secretary

A student with keen attention to detail that, beyond taking notes during meetings, will keep the national organization running smoothly and help to ensure the communication/preservation of information across the SEDS infrastructure now and into the future. The Secretary's duties include but are not limited to:

  • Keep the machinery of SEDS-USA running smoothly
  • Maintain and reinforce continuity of information, including note-taking and file management
  • Track and manage membership information

Chair of Council of Chapters

Community leaders wanted! The Council of Chapters Chair is the liaison between the SEDS chapters and the Board of Directors, making real the focus of SEDS-USA on the development of its student members. The Chair of Council of Chapter's duties include but are not limited to:

  • Organize and lead monthly CoC meetings
  • Distribute newsletters to and collect feedback from chapters
  • Facilitate interaction across SEDS’ membership and communicate their concerns to the Board
  • Guide new chapters and connect them with others in their region

Member at Large

Two passionate SEDS members with specific ideas and the drive to implement them at a national level. In addition to vision, a proven track record of successful execution is key. The Member at Large's main duties include but are not limited to:

  • Manage projects and events
  • Take point on new national initiatives
  • Support chapter participation in national activities

Meet the Board of Directors!

Dan Hirst, Chair

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Originally hailing from Brentwood England, I am currently a senior computer science and physics student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I joined SEDS in late 2017 as Treasurer, before progressing to serve as Chair for the 2018-2019 year. I am particularly passionate about access to information, especially in the traditionally opaque space industry. My dream is to make Earth Observation insights more accessible for humanitarian organisations. In my spare time, I am building an escape room on our university campus with some friends, and watch a little bit too much Great British Bake Off.

Melanie Crowson, Vice Chair

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Currently a graduate student in astronomy at American Public University, I began my journey into the sciences as a curious minded child who reached for every book on space that I could find, culminating in the telescope that I built with my father in high school. I have since been a planetarium operator, mathematics tutor and lead several astronomy outreach events for my community. I am working on RR Lyrae variable star research and supernova hunting projects along with my duties to the SEDS USA family. It is an honor to serve as Vice Chair on the SEDS USA national board, Ad Astra!

Matthew Barr, Treasurer

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Hello all! My name is Matt and I come from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. I am a junior mechanical engineering student working as the Treasurer for SEDS USA, a research assistant for the Robotics and Locomotion Laboratory at UMass Lowell, a ground station engineer and web developer for the Lowell Center for Space Science and Technology, and as a Drone Pilot for the Civil Engineering Department of UMass Lowell. I am passionate about space exploration and contributing in any way that I can to the overall knowledge basis that humanity has.

Gautham Viswaroopan, Chair of Council of Chapters

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Gautham is slammed with classes right now, so he can not come to the phone right now. Feel free to email him, he is an awesome dude!

Jessica Maschino, Secretary

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Jess is cool. She is planning our 2019 SpaceVision so she is too busy to pick up the phone.

Charlie Nitschelm, Member at Large

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Hi everyone! I am currently a student at the University of New Hampshire (UNH, an hour above Boston) where I have been studying mechanical engineering. I am set to graduate in May 2020, and am very excited to move on from my undergrad. During my sophomore year, I started the first aerospace engineering organization at UNH, also becoming New Hampshire's first SEDS chapter. During our first year, we worked on basic rocket building techniques using off-the-shelf engines (primarily Cessaroni) where we started from the bottom and landed at launching multi-stage rockets with MATLAB flight simulation and rocket dimension optimization. The next year (2018-2019), we worked on designing and manufacturing New Hampshire's first hybrid rocket engine, Runaway, where we are aiming to hot fire test in August 2019. With this upcoming year, we will be working to get a working Hybrid rocket utilizing Runaway to compete in the Spaceport America Cup. I joined the board of directors in June of 2019 with the goal to connect the SEDS students throughout the USA for knowledge, networking and support. My primary project throughout the 2019 summer has been the development of this Wiki! It will be an amazing tool that has ALL the information I would have loved to have when starting a student organization and more. As for other experience, I have spent this last summer in Long Beach, California, working at Rocket Lab helping manufacture the Rutherford Engine for the Electron launch vehicle. If anyone has any questions or would like to just have a conversation, I am always open to learning about any SEDS fam around the country.

SEDS Email: charlie.nitschelm@seds.org
School Email: cjn1012@wildcats.unh.edu
Phone Number (text first): 603-923-9079

Cheers!

Obi Anyadiegwu, Member at Large

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Originally hailing from Lagos Nigeria, I am currently a senior mechanical and energy engineering student at the University of North Texas. I am passionate about spin-off technologies and how research into space exploration improves and enriches the human experience.

SEDS Email: obi.anyadiegwu@seds.org

Operations, Projects and Job Site Staff

The board is hardly the entire SEDS USA organization. It takes many staff to make sure our website, sponsored projects and overall business operations continue to move forward.

Operations Staff

The operations Staff include:

  • Miekkal Clarkson, Executive Director
  • Libby Loyd, Alumni Coordinator
  • Anandrao Biradar, Chapter Expansion Manager
  • Ian Burrell, Social Media Coordinator
  • Albert Lin, Webmaster

Projects Staff

The Projects Staff include:

  • Michael Thompson, Project Director
  • Simon Shuham, Business Pitch Competition Manager
  • Alex Thornton, SEDS Rocketry Competition Manager
  • Sumayya Abukhalil, SEDS SAT-2 Competition Manager
  • Nicole Chase,SSPI Satellite Design Competition Manager

Job Site Staff

The Job Site Staff include:

  • Morgan Kainu, Jobsite Director
  • Eric Laughlin, Jobsite Company Liason
  • JJ Fielder, Jobsite Programmer
  • Juan Aureoles, Jobsite Web Designer