Our Team

With backgrounds ranging from NASA to New Space and foreign aerospace programs, our team fosters a strong heritage that allows us to adapt to both rigorous engineering practice and creative solutions. 

 
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Sihao Huang

Sihao studies Aerospace Engineering and Physics at MIT. Prior to founding Aphelion Orbitals, Sihao worked at the Aerospace Institute of Xiamen University researching advanced inertial guidance concepts and launch vehicle systems. He has experience in both the consumer and enterprise industry, previously working at AirEPay (Guangzhou) as an electronics engineer and subsequently as a negotiator. He has also previously built and tested liquid propellant rocket engines, nanosatellites, optical systems, and commercial radio communication equipment independently. Outside of the industrial sector, Sihao has active research experience spanning from RF accelerating cavities, particle detectors, to high-speed analog frontends. 

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Matthew travis

Matthew studied Aeronautical and Astronautial engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, completing his degree in Computer Science. Having previously worked at NASA, and over 10 years of experience at traditional space companies, Matt serves as a strong leader on the Aphelion team.
Outside of Aphelion, Matt also has extensive experience in space education, outreach, and research in the non-profit sector. He serves as President and Executive Director of the Aerospace Research & Engineering Systems Institute, Inc. (ARES Institute), whose flagship project is LunarSail, a Cubesat ­class spacecraft that will test propulsion and navigation via solar sail on a lunar flyby mission.
 

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David Nagy - VP

David has extensive experience in experimental rocketry, working in a multidisciplinary environment, primarily in ablative materials. He specializes in flight dynamics modeling, and systems and structural engineering for both the Trailblazer and Helios vehicles. Outside of the theoretical work he is also a skilled machinist and CNC operator.

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Raz Kai Darrow - CIO

Raz studies Liberal Arts at St. John's College, and is currently pursuing a MicroMaster's credential in Statistics and Data Science at MIT. With a strong background in systems analysis and optimization, she has extensive experience in both application and continuous maintenance of operations and information systems. Raz also enjoys enriching her work with her research interests in stochastic modeling, Bayesian statistics, and machine learning.

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chris mikhailovsky - sr. mechanical engineer

Christopher Mikhailovsky holds a B.S. in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University. With a background in control system implementation, he is currently working on engine testing and data acquisition for future modeling. His experience include air-breathing hypersonic propulsion, rocket spin stabilization and aircraft structures.

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joshua harvey - aerospace engineering intern

Josh is a mechanical-aerospace engineering student at Tufts University propulsion and the co-founder of Tufts Rocketry. He focuses include solid propulsion, flight structures, and orbital dynamics. At Aphelion, Josh is working on the design, manufacturing, and testing of composite flight pieces and the solid upper stage motor.

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russell chan - aerospace engineering intern

Russell is involved in aerodynamic simulation, modeling, and spacecraft hardware development. He holds a B.S. in Physics from the University of California-Santa Barbara, where he worked as an assistant engineer in the UCSB Experimental Cosmology Group. He has also worked for Interorbital Systems as an engineering intern where he did trajectory analysis, design, and manufacturing.