Pacific Northwest Aerospace Expo

Space is Interdisciplinary

Join us Virtually on Saturday October 23rd, 2021

Register Now!

Bringing together the PNW Aerospace community

The Portland State Aerospace Society invites you to join us from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday, October 23rd, as we host local and national aerospace experts and lecturers to discuss the latest topics in aerospace. Registration is free, with a suggested donation.

Schedule of Events

All times are in Pacific Standard Time

10:00 - 10:10: Opening Remarks

10:10 - 10:15: Remarks from Senator Wyden

10:15 - 11:15:

  • Jim Cavera, Introduction to Nuclear Fission for Propulsion

11:30 - 12:30:

  • Ed Boesiger, An Overview of Lockheed Martin and their Space Ventures

12:30 - 1:00: Lunch

1:00 - 2:00:

  • Dr. Margaret Landis, Polar Ice from the Moon to Mars: What We Can Learn About Water and Climate From Space

  • Alfonso Gonzalez, Gravity Assist Trajectory Design to Explore Our Solar System and Beyond

2:15 - 3:15:

  • Dr. Nicolas Lee, Exploring the Space Environment and its Effect on Spacecraft

  • Makena Young, TBD

3:30: Closing Remarks

Keynote Speaker

Jim Cavera

Introduction to Nuclear Fission for Propulsion

We are excited to have Jim Cavera, join us as our keynote speaker! Mr. Cavera is a senior engineer with Blue Origin and AIAA Distinguished Lecturer. He has undergraduate degrees in optical engineering and physics, and his graduate work was in nuclear engineering and aerospace engineering, during which he explored the use of dense plasma focus devices for interstellar travel. He has served for many years on AIAA's Nuclear and Future Flight Technical Committee and is currently its vice chair. His current research is in neutronics and MHD codes for fusion device simulation. He will be presenting Introduction to Nuclear Fission for Propulsion.


ed boesiger

An Overview of Lockheed Martin and their Space Ventures

Mr. Boesiger is a Senior Technical Fellow for Lockheed Martin Space where he has worked for the past 37 years. He managed the mechanisms group there for 14 years delivering mechanisms to all spacecraft programs and now works in the chief engineer’s office of a major satellite program. He has been the Operations Chairman of the Aerospace Mechanisms Symposium since 1992 and is also an Organizing Committee member for the European Space Mechanisms and Tribology Symposium. He has authored several papers and holds a B.S. degree from the University of Michigan, and both an M.S. and Degree of Engineer from Stanford University, all in mechanical engineering.

His presentation is, " An Overview of Lockheed Martin and their Space Ventures". Ed is will discuss the company Lockheed Martin and the various projects they partake in. The second half of his presentation will focus on the exciting design and integration of the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) antenna wing assembly.

Dr. Margaret landis

Polar ice from the Moon to Mars: What We Can Learn About Water and Climate From Space

Dr. Margaret E. Landis is a Research Scientist at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She studies the polar ice of Mars including its age and near-surface properties, the cryosphere of Ceres and its relationship to Ceres’ exosphere, and the long-term stability of water ice and other volatiles at the lunar poles. She is a member of several spacecraft science teams, including for the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) instrument on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Dawn at Ceres mission (2015-2018), and the Diviner lunar radiometer on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Originally from Bellingham, Washington, she graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in Physics and Astronomy from Northern Arizona University, and earned a Master’s and PhD at the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory in Planetary Sciences.

She will be presenting, "Polar ice from the Moon to Mars: What we can learn about water and climate from space" and speaking about her research on polar ice on various planets.

Alfonso Gonzalez

Gravity Assist Trajectory Design to Explore Our Solar System and Beyond

Alfonso Gonzalez is a Space Mission Design Analyst at Nabla Zero Labs where he works on deep space trajectory design, software engineering, and mission visualizations using NASA’s SPICE-Enhanced Cosmographia. He graduated with a B.S. in aerospace engineering (astronautics concentration) from Cal Poly SLO in 2020, throughout that time working 6 internships and was a member of the Cal Poly CubeSat Research Lab. At his 3 internships at Planetary Resources, Alfonso worked on one asteroid and two LEO missions, where his roles included modeling and simulation of asteroid ejecta trajectories, interplanetary trajectories, attitude determination and control systems (ADCS) simulations, and infrared (IR) instrument characterization and testing. At GomSpace Luxembourg, Alfonso worked on two asteroid missions contracted by the European Space Agency (ESA), where his responsibilities covered proximity operations, solar electric propulsion (SEP) system modeling, and Earth-Moon flyby trajectories.

Alfonso will be presenting “Gravity Assist Trajectory Design to Explore Our Solar System and Beyond”, which will cover the astrodynamics, numerical methods, and software engineering behind calculating gravity assist trajectories.

Dr. Nicolas Lee

Exploring the Space Environment and its Effect on Spacecraft

Dr. Lee is a research engineer at Stanford University specializing in ground-based experiments and mission concept studies that explore the effects of the space environment on spacecraft. Current areas of research include characterizing the plasma formed by impacts of meteoroids and space debris on spacecraft, as well as mission concepts that use ultralight spacecraft in novel ways. Nicolas was previously a W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies postdoctoral scholar in aerospace at Caltech, researching technologies for robotically assembled space telescopes, membrane structures for space solar power applications, and small satellite high voltage electronics, after obtaining a PhD. in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University.

Dr.Lee will be presenting, "Exploring the Space Environment and its Effect on Spacecraft" and discussing his past research on hypervelocity impacts and small satellites.

MAkena Young



Andrew Greenberg

Introduction and Update on the OreSat Project

Andrew Greenberg is adjunct faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Portland State University, and is the faculty advisor for the Portland State Aerospace Society, an interdisciplinary student aerospace project.

Andrew will introduce and discuss the latest updates on the OreSat project, an open source and modular CubeSat system designed at PSU. He'll discuss OreSat0, Oregon's first satellite, the OreSat bus in general, and the upcoming NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) mission.

Past PNWAE and PSAS events