Here at Student Space Systems, we want to make sure that our leadership reflects the wants and needs of the general membership of the club very well. Due to this, the Executive Board is elected directly by the General Members at the end of each year by a process of Single Transferable Vote.
Take a few minutes to meet the Board Members of Student Space Systems!
Technical President: Howard Yang
Howard is a Senior studying Aerospace Engineering, with minors in Computer Science and The Hoeft Technology & Management Program. He has been a part of Student Space Systems since first semester of his Freshman year, mostly involved in the Department of Avionics, as well as the External Department. Having previously served on the Executive Board for more than a year, he now oversees all technical research and work, and co-chairs the Board, as Technical President of SSS. It is his mission to empower all members of Student Space Systems apply their curriculum and learning in hands-on projects, developing towards the larger vision of being the first undergraduate student organization to launch a rocket to space. In his spare time, Howard enjoys reading, swimming, and programming.
Administrative President: Shree Das
Shree is now a senior studying Aerospace Engineering. Throughout his undergraduate career, he has been involved with SSS in a variety of roles, both technical and administrative; he was Secretary to the board, a Project Manager for Liquid Engine, and an outreach representative. As the Administrative President of SSS, Shree's goal is to improve the organizational structure that allows a large group of students to accomplish ambitious goals in high-power rocketry. Recently, he has completed two internships at NASA Glenn Research Center. In his leisure time, Shree unwinds by covering songs on piano, listening to podcasts, and reading nonfiction.
Director of Propulsion: Matt Hetzler
Matt is studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois, with a minor in music. He joined SSS at the beginning of his Sophomore year and has been predominantly involved in the Propulsion Department. Since joining, Matt has been Program Manager for the development of the Liquid v.2 rocket engine and has interned at Orbital ATK. As Director of Propulsion, he now oversees the analysis and construction of the Liquid v.1 rocket engine and test stand. His goals for the next year include improving the organization and efficiency of the department, allowing all members to meaningfully contribute to the engine design, analysis, and construction.
Director of Structures: David Liljewall
David Liljewall (Aerospace Engineering, Physics, 2019) is the Director of Structures. He joined SSS in September 2016 and has previously worked as a Project Manager for Phase IV Engine Integration. David is currently responsible for overseeing the design, analysis, and construction of the Liquid V1 rocket, as well as assisting in the development of a Rapid Reuse rocket that will act as a test bed for pertinent liquid rocket systems. When he’s not immersed in the world of rocketry or homework, he spends his time playing guitar in a band, reading, and building a small plasma chamber with a friend. Recently, he has interned with SpaceX and Orbital ATK working on Falcon 9 and Space Launch System booster testing. He loves SSS and wants to give the Structures Department, as well as every other member, the best experience possible.
Director of Avionics: Erik Saathoff
Erik is currently pursuing his BS degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign with plans to begin graduate studies in 2018. His research focus is on implementation of GaN transistors in resonant converters for high power density. He has been an active member in the Avionics department since joining Student Space Systems and has also served SSS as Safety Director. He plans to advance our Avionics department by restructuring educational programming and empowering students to work in a more hands-on way with our technologies. In his free time, Erik can be found doing any number of things including cooking, rock-climbing, practicing photography, and more.
Director of Special Projects: Josh Super
Joshua Super is a sophomore in Aerospace Engineering. He joined Student Space Systems at the beginning of his freshman year. He has been an active member in four Special Projects groups: Turbopump electronics and BLDC teams as well as participating in SSS’s Level 1 program and leading the CO2 pneumatics team. In Josh’s free time, he likes to come up with little projects ranging from restoring a 1920’s typewriter to experimenting with nixie tubes to making a loaf of sourdough bread.
External Director: Nick Schwengler
Nick Schwengler is a sophomore in Aerospace Engineering. He has been a member of Student Space Systems since his freshman year. He spent his time as the project manager for the development of the test stand that will be used to test SSS’ first liquid engine. He also was an active member in the external department. His heavy involvement in the club has helped him obtain an internship with GE Aviation.
Nick was drawn to SSS because of the club’s ambitious goals and the unique opportunities that members can gain from involvement in the club. He is excited to get more students involved in SSS and to work closely with companies that are interested in the club and its goals.
Internal Director: Nick Kopriva
Nick Kopriva is a junior in Aerospace Engineering. He joined Student Space Systems his freshmen year working on SSS’ first Liquid Engine as well as being the project manager for the club’s Level One Certification Program. Last year he served as the Director of Special Projects. Within SSS, Nick hopes to continue serving as a leader, and is most inspired by the club’s ambition and yearning to push their capabilities further. In his free time Nick likes to exercise, play basketball, game and of course build rockets
Safety Director: Brandon Johnston
Brandon Johnston, a senior in mechanical engineering, is the Safety Director. He has been a part of the Structures and Propulsion departments of SSS since January 2015, and has previously been the Director of Structures and a project manager for engine integration. Outside of schoolwork and rocketry, he enjoys learning the guitar and playing basketball. His goal for the upcoming year is to ensure a safe experience for SSS members to design and build rocketry systems.
Treasurer: Matt Pierucci
Matt is a Junior studying Aerospace Engineering. Since he joined SSS in the fall of 2015, Matt has served as the Social Media Manager and the Project Manager for Liquid V2 Fuels and Plumbing. As Treasurer, Matt plans to make sure that SSS has a budget that will ensure that the club’s goals can be met. In his free time, Matt enjoys playing baseball (Go Cubs!), cooking, and playing video games