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It is Rocket Science

“As part of a NASA competition, we’re putting together software and hardware for a semi-autonomous rover that is going to be operated from UB via the internet.”
Richard Linares, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Why staying at UB for grad school was the smart choice for Richard Linares, an Aerospace Engineering student

Richard Linares studied aerospace engineering at UB as an undergraduate. When it came time to choose a graduate program, the question was whether he’d stay at the university. “It made complete sense to stay at UB,” for the engineering program, he says. “In terms of the areas that I was interested in researching, the faculty here were really aligned with my interests and were experts in the field.”

Working toward his PhD in aerospace engineering, Richard is utilizing the resources that the school offers to their full extent. He is involved with the University Nanosat Program, a satellite design and fabrication competition for universities administered by the Air Force and its research partners. “The Air Force funds eleven universities to build a satellite and they then select one university to launch their satellite into space,” he explains. “The satellite that we’re planning on building is related to my dissertation research - we’re developing a space-based platform to make observations on debris objects in space and help improve the information that we know about those objects.” Linares is also deeply involved in a project that has won funding from NASA. “As part of a NASA competition, we’re putting together software and hardware for a semi-autonomous rover that is going to be operated from UB via the internet.”

Richard has also found time to foster collaboration with younger members of the UB engineering community. He has worked with undergraduate students in developing a microgravity experiment that was based on his master’s research. The experiment flew twice on NASA’s Reduced Gravity Aircraft (also known as the vomit comet).

According to Linares, enrolling in UB Engineering as a graduate student was the smart decision: “In terms of getting exposure for your research, UB is a great place to be. The big benefit of UB is the fact that it’s got some of the top researchers in the world in a lot of the areas that the university specializes in.”