We congratulate aerospace alum, Michael Sekerek (PhD. ’14), for receiving the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). IIT has recognized him for his rapid advancement over the course of his career and achievements in the areas of leadership and professional success.
“Mike is a brilliant engineer whose passion is the exploration and utilization of space for the betterment of humanity.” – Major Alex Rasmussen, Friend, Fellow IIT Classmate, and Award Nominator
Sekerak is currently a research and systems engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he is a core member of the design and test team for a new magnetically shielded Hall Effect Thruster (HET) for the Asteroid Redirect Mission. Sekerak is a recognized expert in HETs and his groundbreaking research led to new methods of thruster characterizations that have already been adopted by the Air Force, according to Alec Gallimore, Sekerak’s Ph.D. thesis advisor at the University of Michigan. He has received the Bronze Star Medal from Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2004; Employee Recognition Award, Sandia National Laboratories, 2010; and NASA Space Technology Research Fellow, 2011.
In the future Sekerak plans to dedicate his career to space-related launch vehicles, space mission design and spacecraft technology.