Pat Patterson

Conference Chair

With nearly 30 years of experience in the space industry, Dr. Patterson has a distinctive and broad history in space systems engineering for upper atmospheric research as well as small satellites, and mission operations planning and directing. Dr. Patterson is currently the Director of Advanced Concepts at Utah State University’s (USU) Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL). He is also the Chair of the annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites. Other roles include membership on the AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee, the Technical Committee for the European Space Agency 4S Symposium, and the Scientific Program Committee for the IAA Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation. Dr. Patterson also serves as an Industrial Advisory Committee member for USU’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

Charles Swenson

Associate Chair

Charles is a professor of electrical and computer engineering at USU and earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University. His research activities are divided between space science, instrumentation for measuring the space environment, space systems engineering and small satellites, and he is the PI and academic adviser for USU's Student Small Satellite Program. Charles also serves as Director of the Space Instrumentation Laboratory and the Center for Space Engineering at USU. In addition, he has served sabbaticals as a Geospace Discipline Scientist, NASA Science Mission Directorate/Heliophysics, and as a Senior Scientist at The Aerospace Corporation.

Aaron Rogers

Technical Chair

Aaron has nearly 20 years of direct experience with the development of space and launch systems for numerous DoD, NASA, and commercial programs. Presently, Aaron serves as a Program Manager and is a former Mission System Engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Prior to joining APL, Aaron held technical and management positions with AeroAstro and Lockheed Martin. He has authored multiple publications relating to small spacecraft systems and enabling technologies and holds an appointment with the Space Systems Engineering program at Johns Hopkins University. Aaron earned a B.S. in Aeronautics & Astronautics from MIT and an M.S. in Applied Physics from The Johns Hopkins University.

Kerri Cahoy

Technical Chair, Pre-Conference Workshop

Kerri Cahoy is an Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT and leads the Space Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation (STAR) Laboratory. Cahoy received a B.S. (2000) in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2008) in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Dr. Cahoy previously worked at Space Systems Loral, as a postdoctoral fellow at NASA Ames, and currently leads nanosatellite atmospheric sensing (MicroMAS, MiRaTA), optical communications (NODE, CLICK), and exoplanet technology demonstration (DeMi) missions.

Stanley O. Kennedy, Jr.

Technical Chair, Frank J. Redd Student Competition

Stanley has over thirty years of direct, hands-on experience in Aerospace Engineering and has worked on heavy-lift launch vehicles, upper stages, multiple spacecraft programs and ground systems supporting government and commercial customers both domestic and international. Stanley earned his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from California State Polytechnic University and an M.S. in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado. Stanley is an Associate Fellow and Lifetime member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) serving at the regional and national levels. He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the Small Satellite Systems & Service (4S) Symposium. Stanley has held technical and management/executive positions with Comtech AeroAstro, General Dynamics – Advanced Information Systems, and Lockheed-Martin Space Systems Company. Currently, Stanley serves as the President of Oakman Aerospace, Inc. OAI specializes in Rapid & Responsive, Modular, Open-Architecture Systems.

Valerie Skarupa

Endowment Chair, Frank J. Redd Student Competition

Ms Valerie Skarupa has 26 years of experience in strategic planning, policy and acquisition development, program management, business development and operations, communications, and contracting for air and space programs. She is currently the Director of Government Business for Spaceflight Industries in the Launch and Integration Services Sector. She is responsible for executing strategies to maintain and grow Spaceflight’s Military and Civil Aerospace services in the areas of: mission management, launch vehicle integration, and routine access to space. Previously, Ms Skarupa was the Director of Strategic Programs for Schafer Corporation working in the Military Aerospace Sector focused on the Space Situational Awareness, Directed Energy, and Counter Space mission areas. Ms Skarupa was also a Civil Servant for the Department of Defense for 24 years.

Marianne Sidwell

Conference Administrator

As Conference Administrator, Marianne oversees the design, development, and execution of the Small Satellite Conference, and manages the technical program and student competition. She has 20 years of event planning experience including several years as Executive Director of one of the largest art festivals in Utah, Summerfest Arts Faire. She graduated from Utah State University and has spent much of her career as an Arts and Events Administrator in the non-profit sector. She is a member of the Utah "Change Leaders" through the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.

Candace Malmstrom

Exhibit Manager

As Exhibit Manager, Candace is responsible for exhibition and sponsorship management as well as assisting with the planning and execution of all Conference events. She has over ten years of experience in managing and planning events for multiple corporate and community organizations such as: Habitat for Humanity, Hal Leonard Publishing and Art of Womanhood.

Amy Smuin

Logistics Coordinator

As Logistics Coordinator, Amy is responsible for organizing catering, managing facilities, and scheduling industry-sponsored side meetings. Since graduating from Utah State, she has worked as an Event Coordinator for the USU Conference Center arranging housing, catering, and scheduling summer camps for hundreds of young adults. Her Bachelors of Science in Communication Studies has also prepared her to oversee student employees and maintain public relations through social media and attendee correspondence. Previously, Amy worked as an undergraduate teaching fellow for Utah State University where she helped students develop public speaking and communication skills.