Current Students

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Michael Rososhansky (he/him/his)

Michael Rososhansky received his Master Degree (2010) and PhD Degree (2017) in Aerospace Engineering from Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. Currently, Michael holds a Postdoctoral Fellowship, under the supervision of Philip A. Ferguson, at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His research interest includes state and parameter estimation with applications in navigation technology. Michael has applied his research to problems in advanced space technology as it pertains to calibration of sensors and actuators including guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) of satellite, unmanned aerial vehicles, and multi-agent systems. Personally, Michael is married and a father of two boys. He also has a long history of practicing martial arts in Yoshinkai Aikido, Aiki-Ken, and Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.

PhD Candidates:

Jaime Campos (he/him/his)

Jaime Campos Ordoñez (He/Him/His) is currently a Ph.D. student under Dr. Ferguson and a member of UMSTARLab. His M.Sc. research, completed under the supervision of Dr. Ferguson, investigated the impact of lean and agile project management approaches in a rigid satellite systems engineering planning architecture. He’s applied his studies as the project manager for the Iris project, an ongoing CubeSat development project and part of the Canadian CubeSat Project. He’s also successfully managed design and development of an interactive Apollo 11 anniversary display for the Manitoba Museum. He has demonstrated his leadership as the program manager for UMSATS, and the Manitoba regional representative for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS). He has both academic and industry experience – beginning with receiving a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Winnipeg, and a B.Eng from the University of Minnesota. He currently holds an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) license under Engineers Geoscientists Manitoba (EGM). He worked at Magellan Aerospace, Winnipeg, as part of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission (RCM) and the Canadian Rocket Vehicle 7 (CRV7) program. Originally from El Salvador – Jaime has developed a passion for space research, scientific communication, and rhetoric. He is involved in immigrant and refugee communities, primarily giving back through the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba’s (IRCOM) after school homework program for English as an Additional Language (EAL) students.

Matt Driedger (he/him/his)

Matt Driedger received his BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Manitoba Space Technology and Advanced Research (UMSTAR) Lab. His current research focuses on spacecraft navigation using RSO detections and filter trust. He has held roles as Structure and Payload Lead on the IRIS cubesat mission, as well as various leadership roles on the University of Manitoba Space Applications and Technology Society (UMSATS). Matt has held the Society of Satellite Professionals International Satellites Futures Scholarship, the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada Dave Caddie Memorial Scholarship, Canadian Space Agency Student Participation Initiative Grant, and University of Manitoba Emerging Leaders Award.

Morgan May (he/him/his)

Morgan May is a Ph.D. student under Dr. Ferguson. He completed his M.Sc program under Dr. Sepehri at the University of Manitoba on fixed-wing aircraft systems identification. After graduation, he worked for two and a half years at PrecisionHawk as the lead mechanical designer developing several fixed-wing aircraft and several drone payload systems. He then went on to work at Copernicus Educational Products as the head of mechanical engineering. There he developed product development processes, updated existing drawing systems, created an engineering change request system, designed and built automated testing robots, and developed product testing software in addition to developing several products. In parallel with these two positions, he founded an app development company that has developed tools for rock climbers and educational products for learning and practicing arithmetic. Now his studies are focused on intelligent vehicle locomotion strategies enabled by topology optimization.

Naeimeh Najafizadeh (she/her)

Naeimeh Najafizadeh received her BSc degree in Aerospace engineering from the Amirkabir University of Technology (Polytechnic of Tehran) in 2015, and the MSc in Aerospace engineering from the University of Tehran, in 2018. She is currently a PhD student in mechanical engineering at the University of Manitoba in Space Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Lab. Her current research includes control systems, space systems, system engineering and product assurance. She has experience working in AUT SAT in Product Assurance (PA) section and Iris SAT as the ADCS lead.

Mohammadjavad Vakili (he/him/his)

Mohammadjavad Vakili received his BSc degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Tehran in 2019 and is currently a second-year MSc student in mechanical engineering at Sharif University of Technology. He is currently a research assistant in Agricultural Robotics Lab at SUT, and his research includes mechatronics and computer vision in autonomous drones. He is a prospective PhD student under Dr. Ferguson in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Manitoba.

MSc Candidates:

Aref Asgari (he/him/his)

Aref Asgari received his BSc degree in Electrical engineering from University of Isfahan in 2020. He is currently a MSc student in mechanical engineering at the University of Manitoba. His current research includes drone navigation using beacons, sensor fusion, and space debris detection. He has experience working in the Iris SAT as the Power and Avionics lead.

Ali Barari (he/him/his)

Ali Barari received his B.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering from K.N.Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran, in 2017. He is currently working toward the M.Sc. degree with the Space Technology and Advanced Research Laboratory (STAR Lab) in Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. He has experience in space system engineering, and he is contributing to the Iris CubeSat project (CCP CSA) as the Payload Lead. His research interests include Spacecraft dynamics and control, UAVs dynamics and control, Nonlinear control, Sliding Mode Control, Autonomous Vehicles and Advanced Driver-Assistant Systems.

Moneshwar Beeharry (he/him/his)

Moneshwar is a M.Sc. student in Mechanical Engineering at University of Manitoba. He completed his bachelor’s degree at University of Manitoba in 2020 and majored in Aerospace Engineering. He was a member of Formula Electric team at UMSAE from 2018-2020 and was the shop director from 2018 – 2019. His current research includes drone navigation and path planning using LiDAR and a slung GPR. He is the current Communication lead in Iris CubeSat project.

Behzad Fakour (he/him/his)

Behzad Fakour is a graduate-level student majoring in Mechanical Engineering under the supervision of Dr. Vijay Chatoorgoon and Dr. Philip Ferguson at the University of Manitoba and proudly is a member of the University of Manitoba Space Technologies and Advanced Research (UMSTAR) lab. He earned his B.Sc from the University of Zanjan. He has both academic and professional qualifications. He was employed at the Mianeh Steel Plant, one of the most significant projects in Iran. He had outstanding accomplishments that led him to take the responsibility of the Training Department at an early age. He is currently working on designing an adequate propulsion system for CubeSats to bring them back to the Earth's atmosphere to have them burnt up as a means of space debris mitigation.

Jesse Mack (he/him/his)

Jesse Mack is currently a MSc student in mechanical engineering at the University of Manitoba and a member of UMSTARLab. He completed is bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering degree at the University of Manitoba in 2020. Jesse has his private and glider pilots licenses and likes to travel North America to compete in IAC aerobatic competitions.

Jayden Mckoy (he/him/his)

Jayden is currently completing his final year in Computer Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He will be pursuing his MSc. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering, researching the effects of radiation on spacecraft command and data handling system electrical components. He was also a member of the Manitoba Bisons football team for five years.

Yujia Huang (she/her)

Yujia is a M.Sc. student in Mechanical Engineering at University of Manitoba focusing on satellite attitude dynamics and control systems. She completed her bachelor’s degree with distinction at University of Manitoba in 2019 and was majored in Aerospace with minor of Management. She has worked as a research student on ground operation, testing and control at University of Manitoba. She is an advanced certificate holder in Amateur Radio Club for amateur radio apparatus operation. She is currently an active member of the University of Manitoba Space Technologies and Advanced Research (UMSTAR) lab, exploring on ground station operation and testing for Iris spacecraft.

Mitesh Patel (he/him/his)

Mitesh Patel is a M.Sc student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba and a member of UMSTARLab. He recieved his B.Sc from University of Manitoba where he was awarded the Canadian Society of Mechanical Engineers Gold Medal. His research is in the field of nonlinear control dynamics, UAV dynamics and control, and space systems engineering. As part of the Iris CubeSat project with STARLab, Mitesh has taken the role of the Command and Data Handling subsystem lead.

Valorie Platero (she/her)

Valorie Platero earned her B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering with a focus in engineering physics from the University of Manitoba. She is currently pursuing her M.S. degree in mechanical engineering, where her research activities include nanosatellite missions, structural antennas, RF engineering, and satellite communications.

Alina Toidjanov (she/her)

Alina Toidjanov is a M.Sc student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba and a member of UMSTARLab. She recieved her B.Sc from the same University in 2021. Her research is in the field of space debris mitigation and altitude determination and control. As part of the Iris CubeSat project with STARLab, Alina has taken the role of the project manager and thermal design lead.

Hafis Umar-Lawal (he/him/his)

Hafis is an M.Sc. student and graduate research assistant in Electrical Engineering at the University of Manitoba. He is a member of both STAR Lab and the Renewable Energy interface and Grid Automation (RIGA) Lab. His research is in the field of renewable energy converters where he has worked to develop a new residential micro-inverter topology. Hafis holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Manitoba (2018, with distinction). Previously, he was the lead avionics developer (2019 to 2020) for the STAR Lab’s IRIS CubeSat, where he worked on CDH, payload and power subsystem electrical hardware. Hafis's volunteer activity includes designing energy conversion systems for the UMSATS (2014 to 2016) and ecoMotion (2016 to 2017) student groups, and being elected executive secretary (2019 to 2020) for the University's IEEE Industry Applications Society (IAS) student branch. In the latter capacity, he planned and delivered technical workshops to undergraduate students and successfully petitioned the University to recognize students' IAS membership and activity on the official co-curricular record.

Jesse Ward (he/him/his)

Jesse Ward is a M.Sc student at the University of Manitoba and is a member of UMSTARLab. He also received his B.Sc from the University of Manitoba in 2020. His research is in the field of space radiation and studying the use of commercial off the shelf electronics in space. Jesse currently acts as the Structural lead on the Iris CubeSat Project.

Nathan Wilson (he/him/his)

Nathan Wilson is currently completing a B.Sc degree in Mechanical Engineering with an Aerospace Option at the University of Manitoba. He looks forward to pursuing a M.Sc in Mechanical Engineering with the University of Manitoba STARLab after graduation in May 2021, researching in the field of drone control systems, particularly in the case of transporting a sloshing fluid. His interests include space travel and eVTOL vehicle development. Nathan has competed in the debate category at the Canadian Engineering Competition and was a recipient of the University of Manitoba Emerging Leader Award.

Amin Yahyaabadi (he/him/his)

Amin Yahyaabadi is a Master of Science student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba. His research focuses on developing an intelligent drone testbed used to test new control algorithms and hardware. He was the leader for the onboard computer and flight software subsystems of the Iris satellite from 2018 to 2021. He also investigates using auto code generation for developing high-performance software. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Isfahan University of Technology in 2017.

Tianyi Zhang (he/him/his)

Tianyi Zhang received his BSc degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba in 2019. He is currently a master student in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba. His current research is the control theories of the over actuated space system. He has experience working in Iris SAT as the harness lead.

Undergraduate Students:

Sahar Azizkhani (she/her)

Sahar Azizkhani is completing her final year of the mechanical engineering program, she is a member of UMSATS and UMSAE Aero team. For this summer her main focus will be Iris. She would like to help the team in the deployable fatigue and vibration testing as well as assembling the satellite later on. She will also be involved in developing a sandbox to test rover mobility.

Mateus Braga (he/him/his)

Mateus Braga received his B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Manitoba and is currently doing research with the University of Manitoba STARLab. Mateus’s research includes streamlining the UAV (drone) development process, drone design optimization, extra-terrestrial drone design, and automated CAD modelling. His research interests include interplanetary travel and humans in space. Mateus is also contributing to the Iris CubeSat project as a member of the Structure subsystem, focusing on the solar array deployment.

Ryan Dion (he/him/his)

Current Work: Teaching Assistant - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering - University of Manitoba Undergraduate Research Fellow - Internet Innovation Laboratory - University of Manitoba Research Assistant - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in partnership with MacDon - University of Manitoba Research - STARlab in partnership with Magellan Aerospace - University of Manitoba Founder, Board Member, and Lead Facilitator - Action in Recovery. Professionally, Ryan aims to become an astronaut and increase knowledge in autonomous robotics and resource acquisition with a focus on emerging space industries. Ryan also aims to improve community-based discussions surrounding mental health in Winnipeg, through his work on developing "Action in Recovery" mental health support groups. Professionally, Ryan has worked in several Laboratories including the Ultrasonics Laboratory in the Department of Physics, University of Manitoba, and the ones mentioned above. Ryan has co-authored a conference paper entitled "Serious Games and Machine Learning for Detecting Mild Cognitive Impairment" and advanced research in the areas of machine learning, embedded systems, and internet of things (IoT) devices. Personally, Ryan has spoken regarding mental health in the community in many venues including on television with Shaw and Global News, on behalf of the Not Myself Today Campaign at Boeing, in association with the Canadian Mental Health Association and in partnership with Boeing, and has received a Mental Health Heroes Award. Ryan has been mentioned in Manitoba's top 100 most fascinating people.

Kassem Harb (he/him/his)

Kassem Harb is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Manitoba. He recently completed his second year and is in the mechanical department. Kassem is working towards B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering with an aerospace option and a management minor. He is currently on UMSATS, as the payload lead, and on UMES, under the professional development denomination. As an undergraduate student with STARlab, Kassem is working alongside others on Iris cubesat and research pertaining to an IceCube Dish.

Joseph Howarth (he/him/his)

Joseph Howarth is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Manitoba, completing his final year of the Computer Engineering program. He has been a member of UMSATS for the past 3 years, holding various positions such as CDH Lead and Rocket Avionics Lead. As part of the UMSTARLab, Joseph is developing flight software for the command and data handling subsystem and the payload subsystem of the Iris cubesat.

Renmar Khim Palma (he/him/his)

Renmar Khim Palma recently completed his third year in B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering with an Aerospace Option at the University of Manitoba. Renmar has been involved in UMSATS Rocketry Division for two years, where he currently holds the position of avionics airframe subsystem lead. As an NSERC undergrad researcher at the University of Manitoba STARLab, Renmar is working on SWARM Technologies integration for the Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS). Renmar is also performing Assembly, Integration, and Testing (AIT) for the Iris CubeSat mission. Lastly, Renmar is conducting tests and data validation from drones equipped with a real-time kinematic system, ground-penetrating radar, and LiDAR.

Riley Sweeney (he/him/his)

Riley Sweeney is an undergraduate student who recently completed his fourth year in mechanical engineering, working toward an aerospace stream. He is currently a member of UMSATS on the Attitude Determination & Control subsystem. His research at STARLab involves orbital analysis on the IceCube satellite.

Aayush Vij (he/him/his)

Aayush Vij is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Manitoba. He is enrolled in the Faculty of Engineering, and has recently completed his second year in the department of Mechanical Engineering. Along with his degree, Aayush is pursuing an Aerospace Option and Management Minor. He is currently on the UMSAE Formula 1 team as Controls Lead, a member of the UMES Professional Development Directorship, and an Advocacy Representative for the Faulty of Engineering. As an undergraduate, Aayush will be working with fellow STARlab researchers to assist in the development of the Iris cubesat and IceCube Dish.

Anastasiya Yermolenko (she/her)

Anastasiya Yermolenko is currently an undergraduate engineering student at the University of Manitoba. She recently completed her first year and is pursuing in the Mechanical department. Anastasiya is working towards B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering with an aerospace option. She is currently on UMSATS, helping with FlatSat, and is working alongside other members of STARLab.

Paulina Zielonka (she/her)

Paulina Zielonka is currently completing her final year in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba. During her studies, she has been involved in a diverse number of student groups, from being a Medical First Responder for St. John Ambulance to a Frame and Body Section Member for the UMSAE Formula Electric team. More recently, she along with a few other students founded the UMSATS Rocketry Division in June 2018 which successfully launched and recovered their first rocket at the 2019 Spaceport America competition (Team 86). As an undergraduate student with STARlab, Paulina is working alongside others on Iris cubesat and research pertaining to rover locomotion on Martian terrain.