Ilana Gat and Thibaud Talon have been selected to be the next organizers of the 2017 Caltech Space Challenge. They are both PhD students in Aerospace Engineering at Caltech. They succeed to Hayden Burgoyne and Niccolo Cymbalist, the co-leads of the 2015 edition.
Ilana is working on sub-grid scale modeling of non-uniform density and pressure flows under Professor Paul Dimotakis. She received her B.S. with honors in Physics from New York University in 2013. While at NYU, Ilana spent two summers working at NASA Ames Research Center in the Airborne Sensor Facility. She then went on to spend her final two summers before graduate school at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory working with the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder doing atmospheric retrieval algorithm development. Ilana is currently an NSF Graduate Student Fellow. She received her M.S. from Caltech in Space Engineering in 2014.
Thibaud is working on the Space Solar Power Initiative and the “Autonomous Assembly of a Reconfigurable Space Telescope” project under Professor Sergio Pellegrino. He received his Diplôme d’Ingenieur (engineering diploma) from the Ecole Polytechnique in France followed by a dual Master’s degree in Space Engineering from Caltech and Solid Mechanics from Polytechnique in 2014. He previously worked at Snecma, studying the friction between turbofan blades and is a former research visiting student at Caltech working with Prof. Ravichandran on the high strain rate behavior of AZ31 and PZT 52/48.