About Us

About the Illinois Space Society

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The Illinois Space Society (ISS) was founded at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in September 2003 by Kirk Kittell and Derek Meyers. ISS was created to develop a network of students and members who are interested in space exploration and development. The purposes of the Illinois Space Society are to:

  • Create a network of space supporters in the Champaign-Urbana area
  • To serve the community through educational outreach
  • To provide supporters with resources that will assist them in following their dreams in the field of space exploration

The Illinois Space Society provides its members with a variety of technical, professional, and educational outreach opportunities. This semester, ISS offers the following technical projects. You can find them under the projects tab:

  • IREC
  • Hybrid Rocket Engine
  • RASC-AL
  • NASA Midwest Space Grant High-Powered Rocketry Competition
  • NASA Micro-g NExT
  • NASA Student Launch Initiative
  • Pilot Projects

The Illinois Space Society Executive Board

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Sara Legg

Director

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  Sara is a senior in Aerospace Engineering and pursuing the Hoeft Technology and Management minor. She has been actively involved in ISS for over three years, working on all of the technical projects and even leading the NASA Micro-g NExT project her sophomore year. She loves ISS because it brings together space nerds who love challenging projects. This past summer, Sara was at SpaceX working as a Flight Reliability intern in Hawthorne, CA. In the past, she has also interned at Northrop Grumman in their Infrared Countermeasures Division and at GE Aviation in their Design Team. She is super excited to meet new members and to add on to the series of "firsts" that ISS is famous for this year

Email: legg2@illinois.edu

Christine Mehr

Assistant Director

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Christine is a senior in Aerospace Engineering pursuing a minor in Business. She has been a part of Illinois Space Society for four years participating in Illinois Space Day, Engineering Open House, as well as being on the Hybrid Rocket Engine Team. She is also a member of the Women’s Glee Club on campus as well as Kappa Kappa Gamma. Illinois Space Society is her favorite RSO since it has given her the experience to meet leading experts in the Aerospace field and experiment with modern rocketry concepts. She has also interned for Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. for two summers as a design engineer for the 777x and as a test engineer in the Destructive Laboratory. She is excited to see what this next year will bring and to excite the next generation of space lovers

Email: mehr2@illinois.edu

Connor Latham

Technical Project Director

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Connor Latham is a sophomore majoring in aerospace engineering and minoring in computer science. Last year he was the Illinois Space Society’s Space Grant team lead.  As a part of the Space Grant team, he was working on a toggleable active drag system for a high power rocket in order to slow its ascent. His other activities include ultimate frisbee, building drones, and watching Black Mirror.

Email: connorl2@illinois.edu

Courtney Leverenz

Administrative Director

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Courtney Leverenz is a junior in aerospace engineering. She has been involved in ISS since the beginning of her freshmen year. She served as Safety Officer for Student Launch, Design Lead for Micro-g and ECLSS/Habitat Lead for RASC-AL this past year. Besides ISS, Courtney works part time at a company called CU Aerospace as well as managing the 3D printers/laser cutter in 18A. Outside Aerospace, Courtney loves hunting down spoilers for the MARVEL movies, completing items on her bucket list, and rock-climbing.

Email: cml4@illinois.edu

Shivani Ganesh

Educational Outreach Director

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Shivani Ganesh, a sophomore in aerospace engineering, fell right into ISS at the beginning of her freshmen year. She served as the NASA Space Grant Team Lead - proud co-parent of the Exocoetidae - as well as the SEDS Representative the past academic year. Beyond the technical realm, she has volunteered with ISD, EOH, and BLAST, and hopes to further ISS's already fantastic EdOut program. Outside of the Aerolab, Shivani loves road-tripping to national parks, geeking out over superhero movies, and getting teary-eyed over Neil Degrasse Tyson videos.

Email: ssg3@illinois.edu

Megan Geyer

Social Director

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Megan is a senior majoring in aerospace engineering and pursuing a minor in atmospheric science. This is Megan's second year on the executive board having served as the treasurer last year. She has also participated Micro-G, RASC-AL, and WIA Space Grant. In addition to ISS, Megan is also an active member of Alpha Omega Epsilon and the Illini Strings Orchestra. It is rare to see Megan around campus without her dog, Mila, by her side. 

Email: mcgeyer2@illinois.edu

Marty Motz

Treasurer

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Marty is a senior majoring in Aerospace Engineering. He very is excited to be a part of the ISS team and hopes to see the organization continue to grow in the future. In his spare time, Marty loves to experiment with his 3d printer, play ultimate frisbee, and go on the occasional camping trip. Marty is ecstatic to be working with ISS, and cannot wait to see what it achieves throughout the year.

Email: mmotz2@illinois.edu

Ben O'Hearn

Membership Enrichment Director

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Ben is a transfer student taking a victory lap this year as an Aerospace Engineering major with a minor in Electrical Engineering. This year will be his third in ISS and he has been an active member of both RASC-AL and Hybrid/IREC throughout the past two years. He’ll talk your ear off about the transfer life and the great opportunities he’s had at U of I. Outside of ISS and his classes, he loves cooking hip meals and listening to all kinds of patrician music.

Email: bohearn2@illinois.edu

The 2017-2018 Executive Board

Brian Hardy

Director

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Sarath Panicker

Assistant Director

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Connor Latham

Technical Project Director

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Elena Kamis

Educational Outreach Director

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Sara Legg

Administrative Director

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Megan Geyer

Treasurer

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Christine Mehr

Social Director

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Shivani Ganesh

SEDS Representative

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Avery Moore

AEUAB Representative

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Jason Gong

Engineering Council Representative

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