The Michigan Engineer News Center

Dr. Andy Klesh awarded AIAA Engineer of the Year Award

Michigan Aerospace congratulates alumni Dr. Andy Klesh on recieving the AIAA Engineer of the Year award. | Short Read
IMAGE:  Dr. Andy Klesh, AIAA Engineer of the Year

Congratulations to Michigan Aerospace alum Dr. Andy Klesh on being recognized with the prestigious AIAA Engineer of the Year award! Dr. Klesh attained a PhD in Aerospace Engineering in 2009, an MSE in Aerospace Engineering in 2006, and a BSE in both Electrical and Aerospace Engineering in 2005, all from the University of Michigan.

AIAA honored Dr. Klesh with this award for his exceptional work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Dr. Klesh played a key role as the Chief Engineer of the Mars Cube One (MarCO) project, sending a pair of brief-case sized satellites, referred to as CubeSats, to trail and monitor NASA’s InSight lander on its journey to Mars. Nicknamed WALL-E and EVE after the characters from the Pixar movie, the CubeSats successfully monitored the mission and sent back stunning pictures of the red planet.

The foundation for Dr. Klesh’s work at NASA JPL was built here at the University of Michigan. He studied under Professor Pierre Kabamba and Professor Anouck Girard in pursuing his MSE and BSE, and later conducted postdoctoral research at the Michigan eXploration Lab, where he developed and built CubeSats. Collaborating with fellow Aerospace students, MXL team members, led by Associate Professor James W. Cutler, design and build various projects such as high altitude balloons and small satellites. In fact, the MarCO mission had MXL technology on board, specifically using the MXL-developed flight computer and power system within the CubeSats. You can learn more about the work done by MXL at their website.

Once again, congratulations to Dr. Andy Klesh on winning the prestigious AIAA Engineer of the Year Award!


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The electrons absorb laser light and set up “momentum combs” (the hills) spanning the energy valleys within the material (the red line). When the electrons have an energy allowed by the quantum mechanical structure of the material—and also touch the edge of the valley—they emit light. This is why some teeth of the combs are bright and some are dark. By measuring the emitted light and precisely locating its source, the research mapped out the energy valleys in a 2D crystal of tungsten diselenide. Credit: Markus Borsch, Quantum Science Theory Lab, University of Michigan.

Mapping quantum structures with light to unlock their capabilities

Rather than installing new “2D” semiconductors in devices to see what they can do, this new method puts them through their paces with lasers and light detectors. | Medium Read