Chapter Officers


Student Officers

Balram Kandoria — Chair (

Major: Dual Major in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Balram is a fifth year Aerospace Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering double major. He is currently the Vice-President of the Space and Satellites Systems club and works closely with the group’s Attitude Determination and Control Systems’ Sun Sensor branch. Balram has also participated in undergraduate research on campus with Professor Hill, analyzing near surface strain, and Professor Erikson, studying the Brayton cycle. His favorite volunteering organization, STEM Outreach for Academic Reinforcement (SOAR), aims to motivate elementary school children to become scientists!

Austin Bell — Vice-Chair (

Major: Dual Major in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Austin Bell is a fifth year, dual major in Aerospace and mechanical engineering. He is also captain of the Eclipse rocketry club at UC Davis. Austin became interested in Aerospace along with nuclear physics at Modesto Junior College. After, he took his passion further at UC Davis. He has done research under Max Platzer at UC Davis for a self-sailing sailboat. His favorite class so far has been Computational and Theoretical Aerodynamics with Professor Hafez. After he graduates UC Davis, he will work on nuclear propulsion for Grad school.

Princess Itaok — Secretary (

Major: Aerospace Science and Engineering

Princess is a fifth year Aerospace Science and Engineering student. She is interested in pursuing a career in spacecraft design or propulsion. She’s fond of aerospace ever since she was younger and learned about the Apollo Program. She competed in the JPL Annual Invention Challenge 2015, earning 3rd place regionals with her high school team. In UC Davis, her passion grew when she joined the Eclipse Rocketry Vehicle Team and Oneloop (Hyperloop Team at UC Davis) Friction Brakes Team. In AIAA, she loves the sense of community that brings people together and shares knowledge about the aerospace career. Also, she loves to travel and hike.  She is multilingual and has a dog named Stella-R.


Alumni Officers




Professor Ronald Hess, PhD — Faculty Adviser 

Professor Hess received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from
the University of Cincinnati in 1970. Before joining the UC Davis Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department in 1982, he was an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics at the Naval Postgraduate School and directed research on advanced V/STOL aircraft at NASA Ames Research Center. Professor Hess has been an Associate Editor of numerous academic journals including the AIAA Journal of Aircraft for several decades. In 2000 he was awarded the AIAA Mechanics & Control of Flight Award for outstanding contributions to the field of aircraft guidance and control. He has served as the faculty adviser for the UC Davis chapter for several decades.

Professor Stephen K. Robinson — Department Chair

Dr. Stephen (Steve) K. Robinson is the Department Chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. He joined the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering faculty as a full time professor Fall 2012, after retiring from NASA. His 36 years of distinguished service at NASA include numerous honors and awards–four shuttle missions, three spacewalks–and extensive expertise in spacecraft systems, space robotics and scientific payload operations. As a research scientist, his areas of interest include turbulence flow physics and modeling, experimental techniques, instrumentation, 3D scientific visualization, applied aerodynamics, safety engineering and applied cognitive psychology.

C.P. “Case” van Dam, PhD — Associate Dean for Facilities and Capital Planning

Professor van Dam is the Warren and Leta Giedt Endowed Professor and Asssociate Dean for Facilities and Capital Planning, College of Engineering at UC Davis. He actively involved in a variety of projects including wind tunnel testing of airfoils, wings, and wind energy conversion systems; computational fluid dynamic analysis of airfoils, wings, aircraft, and rotors; and full-scale aerodynamic testing of various systems.




Seyedeh Sheida Hosseini — Student Adviser

Sheida Hosseini completed her B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the Fall of 2013. She reactivated the UC Davis AIAA chapter during the 2011- 2012 school year and served as Chapter Chair until June 2013. Sheida was the captain for the UC Davis AMAT student design team in 2011-2012. Currently, Sheida is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC Davis, where she works with Professor Case van Dam. Her dissertation work focuses on Active Flow Control applications on airplane high-lift systems.

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