Graduate Student Advisory Committee

GSAC Links

GSAC Research Luncheons

Past Luncheon Speakers

Spring 2014 Speakers

Fall 2013 Speakers

Meeting Minutes


The Graduate Student Advisory Committee (GSAC) is an informal group of graduate students from each of the 5 major focus areas in the Aerospace Engineering Department at the University of Maryland. The committee was formed in the Fall 2012 semester in response to the requests of graduate students and department faculty, and seeks to foster camaraderie, growth and success among the graduate student body.

GSAC regularly hosts research luncheon speakers who discuss a variety of topics related to Aerospace Engineering.

Meet the current Graduate Student Advisory Committee


Nathan Shumway
Past education: B.S. (’13), Mechanical Engineering, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Adviser: Dr. Stuart Laurence
Laboratory: High-Speed Aerodynamics and Propulsion Laboratory (HAPL)

President, GSAC
Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago with a clear view of the approach paths to O’Hare International Airport, Nathan has always been fascinated by flying things and how things fly. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where he was involved with the Design Build Fly team, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and the local chapter of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Since he enjoyed his opportunities to do experimental research as an undergraduate student, he chose to pursue a Ph.D. and is currently working with Dr. Stuart Laurence studying untethered dragonfly flight and their response to gusts.

Lucas Pratt
Past Education: B.S. ('12) Chemistry, Yale University
Adviser: Dr. Christopher Cadou

Treasurer, GSAC
After growing up in rural New Jersey, Pratt earned his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Yale University, with a research focus on catalysts and organometallic chemistry. After graduation, he joined the Science Policy Fellowship program at the Institute for Defense Analyses’ Science and Technology Policy Institute, where he focused on issues in the space sector. These experiences in particular lead to his application to the University of Maryland's Aerospace Engineering graduate program where Pratt currently studies under Professor Christopher Cadou, investigating gas-turbine and solid oxide fuel cell hybrid propulsion and power systems for aircraft. With the support of the NDSEG fellowship, he hopes to be able to extend his current research interests into space propulsion systems.

Jon Chambers
Past Education: B.S (Dual-Degree Program) (13') Physics, Presbyterian College (Physics) and Mechanical Engineering, Auburn University (13').
Advisor: Dr. Norman Wereley
Lab: Composites Research Laboratory (CORE)

Raised a Maryland sports fan from nearby Falls Church, VA, Jon postponed becoming a Terp by first heading south to attend Presbyterian College (SC) where he studied physics and played collegiate lacrosse. As part of a dual-degree program, he then attended Auburn University to also receive a B.S in Mechanical Engineering, while also working at Auburn's Office of Technology Transfer. After suffering numerous injuries through athletics that have left him feeling older than his age, he realized that he could help himself (and many others) by continuing his education through research at UMD in the field of human assistive robots. His current research involves PAMs (Pneumatic Artificial Muscles) and their application to assistive robotics. Jon has also served as UMD's SAMPE student chapter president, and as a student representative of the University's Intellectual Property Committee.


Will Craig
Past Education: B.S. ('14), M.S. ('15) Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology
Adviser: Dr. Derek Paley

Will Craig is a Ph.D. student at the University of Maryland working under Dr. Derek Paley. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in mechanical engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY after assuming when he started that he would graduate with a Bachelor's degree and go straight to industry. Not so, as he found amazement and fascination as he took courses in dynamics and control and decided that he needed to learn more to be able to practice such disciplines professionally. This eventually led him to the Collective Dynamics and Control Lab at the University of Maryland, where he performs dynamic analyses and develops control laws using novel sensing to improve the flight stability of small quadrotor helicopters in windy conditions.

Eric Frizzell
Past Education: B.S. ('17) Aerospace Engineering, University of Maryland
Adviser: Dr. Raymond Sedwick
Lab: Space Power and Propulsion Laboratory (SPPL)

Eric recently graduated from the Aerospace Engineering Honors program at the University of Maryland, College Park. As an undergraduate student, Eric was a research assistant at the UMD Center for Orbital Debris Education and Research and will continue his work with CODER as a graduate student. Eric has worked as a Systems Engineering Intern, Data Acquisition Consultant, and Desktop Support Specialist and he received his BS in Economics from the University of Michigan. Eric is a recipient of the 2017 Society of Satellite Professionals International Scholarship, the 2016/17 H. Russell Knust Memorial Scholarship, and the 2015 GDF Suez Energy Generation - Chuck Edwards Memorial Scholarship. As the 2016/2017 President of the UMD Chapter of Sigma Gamma Tau National Aerospace Honor Society, he collaborated with the Aerospace Department to create a student lead tour program for prospective students. Eric is passionate about opening the solar system to human exploration and finding solutions in space to meet energy needs on Earth.


Wanyi Ng
Past Education: B.S. ('16) Mechanical Engineering, Duke University
Adviser: Dr. Anubhav Datta
Wanyi Ng grew up in Flagstaff, AZ and attended Duke University for her B.S. in mechanical engineering. She pursued graduate studies to gain experience in independent, hands-on research, and is now researching electric power systems for rotorcraft with Dr. Anubhav Datta. She is a Pathways Intern at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where she worked on propellant slosh models for Europa Clipper. She was selected as one of Aviation Week's 20 Twenties and was a University Scholar at Duke University. She is also a member of the UMD's Women in Aeronautics and Astronautics (WIAA), AIAA National Capitol Section, and American Helicopter Society (AHS) Federal City Chapter. She dances with DC Contemporary Dance Company.


Stacy Sidle
Past Education: B.S. ('04) Physics, Rhodes College; M.A. ('06) Physics, University of Texas at Austin
Adviser: Dr. Inderjit Chopra
Lab: Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center
Originally from Memphis, TN, Stacy received her B.S. degree in physics from Rhodes College in Memphis. After receiving an M.A. degree in physics from the University of Texas at Austin, she took a break from being a student to teach high school math. As fun as that was, she decided she really missed being a grad student and moved with her dog and soon-to-be husband to Maryland to study helicopters. She's currently working on coupling engine and airframe models to understand the factors affecting the transmission of helicopter rotor vibratory loads to the engine.