AEM Undergraduate Webinar Series

Each webinar will be held via Zoom unless noted otherwise. 


Lectures are held every Thursday beginning on October 6 and running through November 17 from 5:45-6:35 pm via Zoom


Past Speakers 

October 6 - Cecilia Teeuwen, PhD (BAEM 2001, MS 2003)

Senior Principal Engineer at Delta Air Lines

The event will be held in ME 212 and available via Zoom

Bio: Dr. Cecilia Teeuwen (Ortiz Dueñas), BAEM 2001, MS 2003, is an aviation professional with experience in management, airline technical operations, applied data science, and academic and scientific R&D for aerospace applications. She has a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering, a Master of Science from the University of Minnesota, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. She is passionate about the aviation industry and volunteering for girls and youth programs that promote STEM-based education and that promote community- based sports. Some of her favorite career experiences include flying in the NASA Reduced Gravity test aircraft, presenting research papers around the world, obtaining a patent with Rolls Royce for a gas turbine engine and working with aircraft/engine/component manufacturers through her work at Delta Air Lines.



Cecilia Teeuwen

October 13 - Austin Murch (BAEM 2005)

Chief Engineer at Cirrus Aircraft, Duluth, MN

Bio: Austin is a highly experienced aerospace engineer with particular expertise in flight dynamics and control. He has worked on research at NASA Langley (2005-2010), led the UAV research group at the University of Minnesota (2010-2012), worked at the Kestrel Aircraft Company (2012-2013), and is currently Chief Engineer for the Cirrus SR2x platform at Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth, Minnesota. In this role, he is responsible for the technical direction of the SR20, SR22, and SR22T. In addition, Austin serves as Director of Avionics and Electrical Engineering and has served as a flight test engineer (2013-2017).

Austin Murch

October 20 - Haftom Dessalegn (BAEM 2008)

Senior Technical Program Manager at Microsoft

Haftom Dessalegn has 11 plus years of experience in the Aerospace Industry and a couple of years in the Tech Industry. He has experiences working end-to-end throughout the product lifecycle from research, design and execution. With both breadth and depth of experiences Haftom applies a system level thinking to consider multiple perspective and consequences of decisions made through the entire product. Haftom is a sought after industry leader through invited talks, white papers, awards and patents. Haftom has traveled extensively globally and throughout the US to a number of suppliers’ facility and executed project needs. He has crossed the education and industry divide by teaching engineering courses as an Adjunct Professor. Haftom loves the out doors and volunteers in the local community. Haftom works at Microsoft, Cloud Operations and Innovations (CO+I) Team as a Senior Technical Program Manager.


Haftom Dessalegn

October 27 - Rachael Winiecki (BAEM 2007, MS 2009)

COO Blackbird Aerospace

Bio: Rachael Winiecki is the Chief Operating Officer of Blackbird Aerospace where she leads a diverse team of aviators, designers, developers and engineers who are experts in innovation, integration, flight test and certification. Built on a foundation to develop, integrate, test, certify, and field transformative and life-saving technologies -- Blackbird provides end-to-end Aerospace Solutions -- safely & expeditiously transitioning products from concept to reality. On December 14, 2018, Rachael Winiecki, made history by becoming the first female F35 developmental test pilot after completing an F-35 test mission. 


Rachael Winiecki

November 3 - Michael Wright (BAEM 1992, PhD 1997)

Senior Research Scientist at NASA Ames Research Center

Michael received his PhD in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from the University of Minnesota in 1997 and has worked at NASA Ames Research Center since that time, specializing in Entry, Descent and Landing technologies, aerothermodynamics, and thermal protection systems. Michael has authored more than 90 publications in the field and is a two time recipient of the AIAA Best Thermophysics Paper award (2001 and 2004). Michael is the primary developer of the aerothermodynamics code “DPLR”, 2007 NASA software of the year, and has supported EDL for many flight missions, including Orion, MSL, Stardust, Phoenix, and Huygens. He created the Entry Systems Modeling Project in 2012 and served as Project Manager for 7 years. Michael is currently serving concurrent roles as the acting lead for the NASA EDL Strategic Capabilities Leadership Team and the EDL Phase-Lead for the Dragonfly mission to Saturn’s moon Titan.


Michael Wright

November 10 - Apurva Badithela (BAEM 2018)

Graduate Student at Calthech

Bio: After graduating from the aerospace engineering program, Apurva has continued her studies at Caltech in the area of control and dynamical systems. As a student at the U of M, Apurva was active in student organizations such as AIAA, The Solar Vehicle Project. She also took part in undergraduate research through UROP at the University of Minnesota and through summer programs at the University of Texas at Austin and Purdue University. Apurva has won several awards as a student including AIAA GNC Undergraduate Conference Experience Award (2017), AIAA Region V Student Conference Community Outreach Award (2016), and the Gold Global Excellence Scholarship (2014).


Apurva S. Badithela


November 17 - Christopher Gosch (BAEM 2016)

Principal Engineer in Guidance, Navigation, and Controls; Northrop Grumman Armament Systems

The event will be held via Zoom

Bio: Christopher Gosch is currently a Principal Guidance, Navigation, and Controls Engineer with Northrop Grumman Armament Systems. In that role, he works on system-level modeling and simulation for national defense programs. This includes aerodynamics modeling, simulation, and testing, physics-based model integration in MATLAB/Simulink, development of Guidance, Navigation, and Control algorithms, and system integration and testing. He earned a Bachelor's of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from the University of Minnesota in 2016. During that time he was heavily involved with the Rocket Team and Minnesota Space Grant's High-Altitude Ballooning Team. Aside from his role at Northrop Grumman, he is currently working part-time on a Master's of Science in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Minnesota, which is expected in 2024.

Christopher Gosch