Alexandra Yates

Team Lead and Mechanical Engineer

Alexandra, who goes by Lex, is currently a junior at UCF. She is expected to graduate May 2019 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on Aerospace studies and a minor in Diversity and Social Inequality.

Lex’s role in USIP is mechanical design and team lead. She has been constructing designs for the experiment chambers and pitching them to the group.

Lex spends most of her free time as an anti-plastic activist, doing her best to inform the people around her of simple ways they can cut back and reduce our plastic footprint. She also participates in the alternative break program, which is a series of volunteer trips over Winter and Spring break that focuses on specific social issues/problems and aims to help the community involved.

Fun fact about Lex is her favorite food is french toast, but loves anything breakfast related.


David Schwartzberg

Project Budget and Deliverables Lead

David has a junior standing and plans to graduate in 2018 with a degree in Finance. Math has always been one of his strengths, and is working toward becoming a financial adviser upon graduation.

He will be in charge of the project budget and deliverables, and will take an active role in project development. He is primarily responsible, under the supervision of Dr. Dove, for the managing the budget for the project and for organization of the total project funding in response to design requirements and external funding constraints.


Jacob Kirstein

Mechanical Engineer Lead

Jacob is a junior at UCF planning to graduate in May 2019 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership. Upon graduation, he hopes to start his own company in aerospace vehicular research and development.

Jacob is responsible for the design, development, and implementation of various payloads and experiment rack which are flown on a variety of platforms; including, but not limited to: parabolic flights, the International Space Station, and suborbital rockets. He is working with Lex to develop the inter-workings of a micro-satellite which will allows physicists at CMR to study the interactions between particle collisions in micro-gravity environment.


Jeffrey Jorges

Science Development and Data Analysis Lead

Jeffrey, who goes by Jeff, is a senior at UCF studying Physics. Jeff will be graduating May 2017 and plans to go to graduate school to pursue a PhD in Astrophysics. After gaining a PhD, he hopes ot work as a faculty member doing research at a university or  go into the private sector as a full time researcher, helping to expand our knowledge in the astronomical sciences (in either case).

Jeff is the lead on science development and data analysis for our team.

In his spare time, when he’s not studying or doing research, Jeff loves to read and write Science Fiction.


Jeffrey Strange

Lead Electrical Engineer

Jeff is currently a senior planning to graduate in May 2018 with a degree in Electrical Engineering a minor in Computer Science. After graduation, he intends to pursue a career working with embedded systems.

Jeff is the lead electrical engineer for the team and is primarily responsible for the design and integration of the electrical components for the project.


Rachel Hayden

Marketing Lead and Outreach Coordinator

Rachel is a senior here at UCF majoring in Integrated Business. She hopes to graduate in December 2017 and find a career in marketing, more specifically healthcare or sports marketing.

Her role on the USIP team is to lead the marketing effort and coordinate all outreach efforts. She manages social media accounts, documents and records the team progress, and coordinates and plans outreach opportunities for the team.

Rachel enjoys sailing, photography, volunteering, exploring, and basically and thing outdoors or adventuring. She likes to spend time with friends and family, as well as her dog. She loves animals, traveling, and exploring new places and learning new things.


Wesley Chambers

Graduate Student Team Mentor

Wesley is the graduate student mentor for the UCF USIP team, hoping to graduate from graduate school in 2018. His research focuses on how rocket exhaust interacts with the surface of things like asteroids.

Upon graduate school, he would love to work for NASA, in the space industry, or teach.

Outside of school, Wesley is an amateur photographer, a reasonably proficient musician, and a better-than-average Ultimate Frisbee teammate.