Our Team

Joshua Farahzad

Project Lead

Josh is a rising sophomore at Duke University studying electrical engineering and economics. He's operated a business, a nonprofit and has volunteered at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Josh's long term interests lie in human biology and space. He's excited to work with motivated students who share his passions for space.

Saad Mirza

Design Lead

Saad is skilled in systems-level design and optimization of unguided suborbital rocket systems, having previously served as the project manager of Princeton University's SpaceShot team. Saad has also worked at the Georgia Tech Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory. He hopes to lead the team to success, and in the long term, usher in a new era of supersonic commercial air travel.

Chris Romanoski

Structures Lead

Chris is a senior in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where he is the president of the NASA Student Launch team. Building off a summer spent interning in propulsion at NASA Marshall, he is anxious for the opportunity to pursue his passion for rocketry with peers from across the country to do something truly extraordinary with Operation Space.

Eliana Berger

Business Lead

Eliana Berger is from Long Island, New York and will be attending Northeastern University this fall. She is passionate about science and founded Golden Heroes, a medical nonprofit that brings comfort and joy to children with cancer. Eliana joined Operation Space because she wants to encourage other teens to fearlessly pursue their ambitious goals.

Brian Munguia

Technical Team

Brian has a BS in Aerospace Engineering from The Ohio State University and a MS in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Stanford University. He's currently a PhD candidate in Aeronautics & Astronautics at Stanford University focusing on CFD-based design optimization. He joined the project because he really likes the collaborative nature of it, bringing several universities and members of industry together to make something cool.

Jan Balk

Avionics Lead

Jan Balk studies Aerospace Engineering at Purdue University. He is the team lead of Purdue AIAA’s rocket design team and led his city’s first robotics team in high school. He joined Operation Space because it is an opportunity to solve difficult challenges and work with like-minded students from around the country.

Timothy Nuber

Technical Team

Timothy is currently studying Aerospace Engineering at Rutgers University Honors College, where he runs the Space Technology Association. An avid cosmic explorer, he joined Operation Space to connect with fellow students paving the way to the stars.

Eric Katzen

Systems Integration, Controls, and Simulation Lead

Eric is a Graduate from Hofstra University where he received his BS ME and a concentration in Aeronautical Engineering. He has had internships/Co-Ops with Ripak Aerospace Processing, Lockheed Martin, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center & the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and United Airlines. He will be starting a full-time position with The Boeing Company accompanied with a MS in Electrical Engineering concentrating in Control Systems at NJIT.

Dalton Alexander

Launch and Recovery Lead

Dalton is a junior Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering student at Clarkson University, where he is the President of the AIAA chapter. He joined Operation Space because he wants to learn about rocketry with a great team. "This is probably the closest thing to being an astronaut as I'll be in my life"

Hugh Ferguson

Web Dev Lead, Business Team

Hugh is a sophomore at Northeastern University's Honors College studying computer science and economics. He is passionate about social entrepreneurship and co-founded mission: toothbrush, a nonprofit supplying oral health supplies to disadvantaged families. He joined Operation Space because he is fascinated by science, physics, and realizing people's potential to achieve .

Timothy Wynia

Technical Team

Timothy is a rising senior at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he is studying a double major of Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science with an emphasis on controls, and algorithm applications. Timothy is excited to be joining the team to follow his passion for applied aerospace engineering. When not working with the team, Timothy plays a strong game of ping-pong, and will be spending his summer in Indianapolis, IN, working for Raytheon.

Matthew Boudreau

Technical Team

Matthew is a senior Mechanical Engineer at Cornell University, where he is doing climate engineering research. He joined Operation Space because it seems like a great way to build up his rocketry skills and have a lot of fun for the summer. He also feels that too many university project teams are based around competition between universities, rather than cooperation, which sets this project apart.

Karelia Silvestrini

Technical Team

Karelia is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Aerospace Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico. She started the first AIAA branch at PUPR, and has also participated in community work such as motivating public school students about STEM careers as well as assisting on NASA Kennedy Space Center volunteer program.

Vivek Vidyarthi

Technical Team

Vivek is currently an aerospace engineering undergraduate student at the School of Engineering at Rutgers University. He's involved with STAR, a club at Rutgers, where he works as the programming leaf of the weather balloon club.

Tim Cerrie

Technical Team

Tim is entering his senior year as an Aeronautical Engineering major at Clarkson University. He has always been awed and fascinated by space and is very excited to be apart of Operation Space because it is a unique opportunity to be working with intelligent students from all over the country and accomplish something amazing.

Stephen Cushner

Business Team

Stephen Cushner is a Sophomore at Columbia University in New York City, majoring in financial economics. Stephen is the treasurer of the Columbia Financial Investment Group (CFIG), Columbia’s largest finance club, and is the Preprofessional Representative of the Columbia College Student Councils. Stephen joined Operation Space because of his passion for pushing the limits and lifelong fascination with space and astronomy.

Ryan Piracha

Film Team

Ryan Piracha is an award winning animator and editor based in Richmond, Virginia. He has recently completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Video Studies at George Mason University, and also has a background in STEM as an alumnus of FIRST Robotics. Outside of his work in media, Ryan is passionate about environmental sustainability and music.

Rocco Famiglietti

Technical Team

Rocco graduated from Hofstra University this past December with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He is currently working as a design engineer at Curtiss-Wright in Farmingdale. He joined this team because he's always had a passion in aeronautics and astronautics and is honored to have an opportunity to gain experience in these fields.

Nicholas Florio

Technical Team

Nick is a rising junior Electrical Engineering Major at Villanova University. He is originally from Huntington, NY and hopes to use his engineering degree to improve the world, one op-amp at a time. He joined the team since he feels he shares the same passion and drive to innovate and engineer a rocket as his teammates. He is currently the Treasurer and Electrical Lead of Villanova's AIAA and this summer he will be interning in Electronic Systems at Rockwell Collins.

Mohamed Moustafa

Technical Team

Mohamed is an Aerospace Engineering and Physics graduate from Wichita State University. He enjoys working on the intersection of aerospace and computer science. He joined Operation Space to do bold, daring things with like-minded individuals.

Kent Takada

Technical Team

Kent is a sophomore Mechanical Engineer at Cornell University. He joined Operation Space because he loves working in groups where every member has such a unique background. He has a strong passion for music and sports.

Keith Corso

Business Team

Keith Corso is a finance major at Northeastern University. He is the President of Northeastern’s Entrepreneurs Club, Investment Analyst at IDEA, and Founder & CEO of BusRight. Keith is excited to prove that with the right people, anything is possible.

Jack Kiefer

Technical Team

Jack is a junior studying Computational Mathematics, Computer Science, Anthropology, and Physics at Utah State University. He has been heavily involved with SWE, AIAA, and USU's SmallSat and Rocketry teams. Fueled by a deep passion for space exploration and settlement, he joined Operation Space to "reach new heights."

Glenn Andrew

Technical Team

Glenn is a Senior Aerospace Engineering student at Virginia Tech. He is heavily involved in the VT Formula SAE team as the Aerodynamics Lead, and enjoys keeping up with New Space companies. He is working on Gas Turbines for GE Power this summer as an intern, in addition to contributing to this project. Glenn joined the project because it offers a chance to meet other students from around the country and learn from students of other engineering programs.

Gerardo Javier Barillas

Technical Team

Gerardo is a Senior Aerospace Engineering major at Texas A&M University. A-Whoop! He has led the mechanical sub-team for A&M’s AIAA CanSat team, as well as being part of the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Design Competition. He joined Operation Space because he wants to show the potential and abilities that young students have in the area of aerospace engineering. He also loves manned spaceflight and is an avid follower of private space corporations. Gig ‘Em!

Emerson Vargas Niño

Technical Team

Emerson has a BASc in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Toronto and is a MASc candidate at the UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory, focusing on the design and optimization of Hall thrusters. He’s the rocket propulsion lead at the University of Toronto Aerospace Team where he’s developed hybrid rocket engines for over 4 years. Emerson joined Operation Space to push boundaries with like-minded individuals and inspire others to do the same.

Daniil Lisus

Technical Team

Daniil Lisus is a fourth-year Mechanical Engineering student at McGill University in Canada. He has been helping build and launch rockets since his first year with the McGill Rocket Team and is very passionate about aerospace. He joined Operation Space to take on a new challenge and help take student led projects to a new level.

Bharvi M Chavre

Business Team

Bharvi is a rising senior at G. W. Hewlett High School. She is the President of the Robotics Club and the business captain of FTC robotics team 7120 Bionica. Bharvi is excited to bring the business skills she learned at robotics to Operation Space. As a part of Operation Space, Bharvi hopes to inspire other teens to reach for the stars (pun intended)!

Tarun Bandemegala

Technical Team

Tarun is a Senior Aerospace Engineering student at Wichita State University. He's led the WSU Chapter of AIAA and the local Astronomy club. His future interests lie in the field of Space Dynamics and Bioastronautics. He joined Operation Space to meet fellow explorers in his pursuit of Infinity and beyond.

Ryan Wong

Business Team

Ryan is a sophomore at UC Berkeley with an intended major in Business Administration and Data Science. He serves as the Marketing Director for AFX and has consulted on companies such as JanSport. Ryan is extremely excited to help promote Operation Space nationwide and to show how a group of young individuals can come together to tackle such an amazing goal!

Adam Katz

Business Team

Adam is a Business Analytics major at MIT. He's a pitcher on MIT's baseball team, a member of the Baker Foundation, and Co-founder and President of Textless. Adam joined Operation Space because he loves to challenge what is possible and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

Steven Latimer

Avionics Team

Steve is a senior at Clarkson University majoring in Aeronautical Engineering and Physics. He joined the team to learn about building and launching a rocket while contributing all that he can to the project.

Matt Chiarelli


Matthew Chiarelli is a rising sophomore studying media production and business at New Paltz. With a passion for documentary filmmaking and a fascination with space in general, Matt joined to document the process with the hopes of sharing the experience with the world.

Anthony Parfilko

Avionics Team

Anthony is a junior at Rutgers university, where he studies Mechanical Engineering at the Honors Academy. A dedicated member of AIAA and one of the first members of STAR, he enjoys hands-on problems that require both mastery of tools and lateral thinking. He joined Operation Space in search of a challenging project that pushes the limits of expectation.

Robert DeHate

Propulsion Subcontractor

Animal Motor Works