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The Team

Alessandro Carducci – Structural Design

Alessandro has always been interested in the way things work, more so regarding the mechanical part than the electronic side of things. Since the beginning of the course his interest in design, materials and structural simulations grew, as well as his interest for 3D modelling and simulation software. So his area of specialization is structural design, and he takes care of all those components that have to be designed and tested virtually, and, why not, also in real life conditions. He chooses the best suited materials for the job and takes care of the manufacturing process, making sure that the final product will bear all the stresses it will encounter. Among his hobbies are gaming and electronic music as well as sports, sailing and F1.

Luca Degasper – Launch and Programming

Luca’s programming knowledge comes entirely out of self-teaching and he likes coding websites entirely by hand. He created websites for various companies and has a personal blog which he updates regularly. Luca is in charge of the launch and retrieving operations, and the tweaking of SHARP’s onboard systems. He is also responsible for the technical side of our online outreach activities.
He is a projectionist and has shown an unreasonable number of films over the last four years at the university’s student cinema, using their 35 mm projector.

Tom Drinkwater – Management and Logistics

Tom’s interest in engineering has been apparent from a young age. As a small child he remembers taking apart anything he could get his hands on in order to see how it worked, often to his parents displeasure. He took this passion to the classroom in the hope of pursuing a career in the industry. At the age of 16 he was accepted by the Royal Air Force to become an Engineering Bursar at Welbeck DSFC and subsequently the University of Southampton. He hopes the skills gained during this project will help him during his Initial Officer Training at RAF Cranwell and in his future career as an Engineering Officer.
Aside from Engineering, Tom’s interests include 35mm photography and following the UCI Pro Tour, as well as the usual interests of a 21 years old lad.

Stephen Lewis – Software and Manufacturing

A space systems engineering student, Stephen worked as a machinist and draughtsman for three years prior to joining the University of Southampton. These skills and experience earned from working in a live manufacturing environment are being put to good use in coordinating the manufacture of the CubeSat and associated hardware, and producing detail design drawings of them.
Having learnt to program on an old (then new) Amstrad computer in the mid-ninties, he is writing the low-level device driver and utility software to attach the required external devices to the smartphone and interface them with the top-layer CubeSat software.

Aleksander Lidtke – Space Systems

Alek has broad interests, which revolve mainly, but not exclusively, around Science and Engineering. He tends to get bored of the very fine detail quite quickly, usually. This is why he decided to specialise in Systems Engineering, which gives a good overview of not only how all the components of the CubeSat fit, interface and work together, but also how the Craft as a whole will communicate with the ground. His role in the project is to lead the design process while keeping manufacturing and operations in mind and to make sure that, at the end, everything will work as desired. He’s also responsible for writing the top-layer of CubeSat software in Java.
Alek’s primary hobby is sailing. He also enjoys other sports and playing the “normal” and the bass guitar in his spare time (which isn’t a lot).

Michael Moore – Communications

As a Spacecraft engineering specialist, Michael is very excited to be part of this project. He has always been interested in communication systems, but has never found the perfect time to learn about them in depth, until now. Delving into everything from link budgets to CAD modelling of the communications hardware, he is developing a knowledge of the subject as he works. Component selection and hardware procurement have played a large part of Michael’s work within the team.
His interests include cycling, playing the saxophone, and listening to and searching for new music. He also enjoys being part of the universities trampoline club, as it offers a very different university experience to the day to day work as an engineer.

Marco Placidi – Payload and Media

Since he was a child, Marco has shared his passion for space with his father, sending his name to Mars, along with other thousands of people, onboard the NASA Spirit rover. He also attended the summer course “Human Spaceflight and Exploration” in Kiruna, Sweden, meeting several ESA representatives such as the former astronaut Gerhard Thiele. Marco’s area of expertise is the payload, which mainly consists of smartphone hardware components such as cameras, GPS and other sensors. He is also in charge of the Media department, taking care of the website content and of the other social media. In his free time, Marco enjoys electronic music, videogames, motorcycles and skydiving.

Nicolas Tankov – Launch and Logistics

Engineering and generally the intricate nature of how things work have always been of an utmost interested for Nicolas, particularly his fascination with space brought him where he is today. Besides helping on the launch aspect of the project he is more interested towards the electrical and programming aspect of the cubesat, thus he has vouched for taking responsibility within the communication subsystem. Nicolas has been introduced to sports since an early age and is actively involved with the university’s waterpolo team and athletic union, he is also an avid scuba and free diver. Other than that he is a computer hobbyist and enjoys exploring computer hardware and software.

Sarah Varley – Thermal and Outreach

Sarah discovered that engineering was her path after originally starting a physics course at university. She loved space and the physics behind it but preferred making the things that went there rather than the mechanics of the universe. After swapping to Aerospace she found solace in studying thermal and material applications for space and satellite design. Because of this has taken responsibility of the environmental survivability of the project. She is also is co-ordinating the Project Cansat with Itchen college, which is running along side this project, using this as an opportunity to increase her teaching skills as well as give college students a taste for engineering. Outside of university Sarah has tried her hand at many hobbies but currently these primarily are cooking, running and re-enactment.