The University of Southern California’s Rocket Propulsion Laboratory is an undergraduate research laboratory that designs, builds and tests experimental rocketry and propulsion hardware.


Engineering and Operations Team Members

 

BRANDON EDELSON
Chief Engineer & Chief Operating Officer
Brandon oversees the overall design, construction and launch of each vehicle. In addition, he is responsible for directing the research, development and implementation of new flight technologies and manufacturing infrastructure. Brandon has interned at Aerojet Rocketdyne in Redmond, WA, working on the development of additively manufactured Modular Propulsion Systems for micro satellites. He is currently a senior working towards his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering.

 
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JASON SILVERMAN
Chief Design Engineer
Jason is responsible for the modeling and analysis of all RPL vehicles and ground support hardware. He continues to optomize each system for flight and ensure that each component will meet its required saftey and performance margin. Jason is Tripoli Level 3 certified in high-power rocketry and is an intern in the life support group at SpaceX, where he will continue after graduation. Jason is currently a senior working towards his B.S. & M.S. in Astronautical Engineering.

 
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IAN HEIDENBERGER
Chief Technology Officer
Ian is responsible for making sure the lab has everything it needs to maintain its cutting-edge level of technology. He has worked at Skybox Imaging, LLC where he was a Camera Systems Engineer Intern and responsible for the initial testing of flight cameras. Outside of RPL, he also enjoys hiking, biking, flying, and playing guitar. Ian is a senior working toward his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering.

 
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JAKE HUNTER
Chief Propulsion Engineer & Chief Quality Engineer
As Chief Quality Officer, Jake oversees the production and integration of vehicle components, ensuring they meet RPL's high standards of workmanship. As Chief Propulsion Engineer, continues to lead the development of experimental propellant compositions and propellant manufacturing processes. Jake has worked in the Active Materials group at HRL Laboratories as well as in the Propulsion Production department at SpaceX. He is currently a senior working towards his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

 

KRISTJAN SALASOO
Chief Propulsion Engineer & Chief Resource Officer
As Chief Resource Officer, Kristjan is responsible for making sure RPL has the right tools to get the job done. As Chief Propulsion Engineer, he oversees the production of RPL's advanced solid rocket motors and the tooling hardware required to make them. Kristjan has interned in the Process Engineering divison at SpaceX and is currently a junior working toward his B.S. in Astronautical Engineering.

 
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RYAN OLLIGES
Chief Composites Engineer & Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Ryan is responsible for ensuring RPL has the budget to continue its operations. As Chief Composites Engineer he implements new methods, techniques and materials for constructing RPL's advanced composite structures. Ryan has worked as a research assistant in the M.C. Gill Composites Center at USC and has launched his own composite skateboard company, 121C. Ryan is currently a junior working towards his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, with a minor in Entrepreneurship.

 
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KEVIN GERANEO
Chief Aerodynamics Engineer
Kevin is responsible for making sure RPL rockets go nowhere but up. He analyses the aerodynamic profile and flight conditions of each rocket to ensure they acheive maximum possible performance and stability. Outside of RPL, Kevin is an avid gamer and cook. He is currently a junior working towards his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering.

 

MONICA NGUYEN
Chief Recovery Engineer
Many at RPL work to get the rocket off the ground in one piece up, but it is Monica's job to make sure it comes down in one. As Chief Recovery Engineer she is resposnible for designing and implementing the parachute deployment system which allows the vehicle to come back down to earth safely. Outside RPL, Monica researches shock wave mitigation in USC professor Dr. Veronica Eliasson's lab and serves as the External Vice President of the Student Coalition for Asian Pacific Empowerment. Monica is currently a junior working towards her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.

 
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CARTER ALLEN
Chief Avionics Engineer & Chief Compliance Officer
As Chief Compliance Officer, Carter is responsible for ensuring that RPL is in compliance with all University, State and Federal regulations. His primary mission is to maintain a safe and healthy work enviornment and enforce the rules and best pratices towards acheiving that end. As Chief Avionics Engineer, Carter oversees the design, development and implmentation for the electronic systems on board each rocket. These systems which record and transmit flight data are vital to tracking and recovering RPL vehicles. Carter has interned at Blue Origin and is currently a sophomore working towards his B.S. in Astronautical Engineering.


Core Team Members

 

Nick Orenstein Ph.D. - ASTE

      Alex Coco       Jr. - ASTE

   Brad Hartwig    Jr. - AE

    Adam Rising    Jr. - EE

Brady Runyon  Jr. - ME

Brennan  Swanton  Jr. - EE

 

  Arren Yedikian  Jr. - AE

 Tyler Ahlf   Soph. - ME

 Preston Fegley  Soph. - AE

 Megan Frisk  Soph. - ASTE

 Allie Gehris  Soph. - ASTE

Roberto Lopez Soph. - ASTE

 

Merritt Opdycke  Soph. - ASTE

Adam Aitoumeziane  Fr. - ASTE

 Damian Balla   Fr. - ASTE

 Jacob Hogge   Fr. - ASTE

Skye Mceowen  Fr. - ASTE

Haley Karow          Fr. - ASTE