Current Members

Tove Kopperstad | President

Tove Kopperstad is a graduate student pursuing a PhD under Prof. Ansell. Her passion for renewable energies and environmental efforts has led her to focus her research into exploring electric propulsion optimization with wing design through experimental means. Originally from Norway, she enjoys meeting new people and exploring new place. In her spare time Tove likes nature hikes, trying new recipes and reading. Through AE GSAC she hopes to help foster a sense of community among graduate students through social events and outings to explore the local community.




Sahisth Chhabra | Vice President

Sahisth Chhabra (he/him/his) is a first year graduate student in the Aerospace Department at UIUC. He wants to pursue research in Space Situational Awareness and Trajectory Optimization and is currently working with Dr. Robyn Woollands in an Independent Study to improve the Martian dust devil detection model that Dr. Woollands made when she was at NASA JPL. Apart from Astrodynamics, Sahisth’s interests lie in athletics, soccer, listening to hip-hop and eating different cuisines/trying out new food. Sahisth is glad to be a part of AE-GSAC and hopes to help students through this committee’s activities and advance the ever growing community.




Aanchal Gupta | Secretary

Aanchal Gupta is a graduate student in the Aerospace Department at UIUC. She intends to do research in the field of nuclear space power & propulsion and continue this research into the PhD program. Her dream is to help launch humans into deep space and interplanetary missions. Apart from academics, Aanchal has interest in reading thriller & high-fantasy novels, watching suspense-thriller movies, going for walk, singing, traveling & exploring new places, and socializing. She is very friendly and enjoys helping & connecting with people from different backgrounds. By serving as a member of AE-GSAC she hopes to support graduate students and enhance their cultural, social & academic experience at UIUC.



Jacob Eisen | Treasurer

Jacob Eisen is pursuing his master’s degree under the advising of Dr. Joshua Rovey in the Electric Propulsion Laboratory. With the goal of enabling new science-focused missions in deep space, he works on the electrical systems that drive innovative propulsion systems. Through AeroGSAC, he hopes to improve the accessibility of space science through community programming, encourage healthy graduate student lifestyles, and promote ethical academics. Other than space, he is passionate about fighting games, jazz percussion/keyboard, and exploring nature. He loves traveling and learning from the experiences of others.




Kuldeep Namdeo | Membership Director

Kuldeep Namdeo is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at UIUC. He is currently working with Dr. Phillip J. Ansell on distributed electric propulsion systems and is also greatly interested in the bio-inspired domain. His hobbies include trying new activities, playing basketball and table tennis, Greek mythology, star-gazing, sketching portraits, cooking pizzas, among others. Kuldeep feels great to be a part of AeroGSAC, he looks forward to interacting with other aerospace enthusiasts and contributing his best to help students and improve the network of the aerospace community.




Moises Angulo | Outreach and Advocacy co-chair

Moises Angulo is a graduate student in the Aerospace Department at UIUC working in collaboration with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on modeling plasma systems including electric propulsion (EP) devices. EP is an in-space propulsion method that involves the use of magnetic and electric fields to steer and accelerate plasma to produce thrust. Overall, his research interests are in the broad field of kinetic plasma physics such as laser-plasma interactions, space weather, and fusion plasmas. Originally from Virginia, Moises is excited to be part of GSAC and meet other like-minded individuals. Outside of academics, Moises likes to go on runs, eat lots of food, and listen-to/play music. He plans to pursue his Ph.D. once he completes his MS.



Jacob Heglund | Outreach and Advocacy co-chair

Jacob Heglund is a PhD student in the Aerospace Department advised by Professor Huy Tran. He is studying AI and Machine Learning, and plans to devote a career to developing these technologies to accelerate the widespread adoption of sustainable transportation systems and energy production. Jacob has been at UIUC since 2014, and earned his BS (in Engineering Physics) and MS (in Aerospace Engineering). Outside of work, he enjoys walking in nature with his dog and travelling around the great state of Illinois with his fiancée. By working with other members of AeroGSAC, Jacob hopes to serve as the voice of graduate students, and communicate the needs of students to department leadership to build a better department for everyone!



Nagachandra Nagaraj | Professional Exposure co-chair

Nagachandra Nagaraj is pursuing his master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering at UIUC. Fascinated by speed and technology, his research interests include but are not limited to high-speed gas dynamics, propulsion, and machine learning. Through AeroGSAC, he aims on spreading significance of space research for the benefit of humankind. Apart from aerospace, his hobbies include cooking, trading stocks, swimming and playing chess. He looks forward to learning saxophone and is excited about adventure sports.




Sreedhar Kesari | Professional Exposure co-chair

Sreedhar Kesari is a graduate student, currently pursuing his master’s in Aerospace Engineering at UIUC. He intends to possibly do his research in the field of applied aerodynamics, particularly in wing-shape optimization. Aside from academics, he is a licensed private pilot, currently working on his commercial license.





Srividhya Sridhar | Public Relations Director