Your Executives


Get to know us.

 

President - Anuradha Deshpande

Anuradha is a Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Calgary with a minor in Manufacturing Engineering. She is in her final year of studies. She joined SOAR in the fall of 2015 because of her passion for space exploration and rocketry, has been on a mechanical design team since she joined, has also worked as the VP Finance for the team and now she is the President of SOAR and oversees various projects pertaining to rockets, high altitude balloons, team sponsorship, finance, team outreach, and more.

Her goals for SOAR include achieving success at the 2019 Spaceport America Cup, an improved balloons program, increased outreach and collaboration, and furthering the skills and capabilities of her team. In her leisure time, Anuradha partakes in reading, vegan baking, outdoor activities and hiking, latin ballroom dancing, watching sci-fi or fantasy shows and movies, and attempting new activities.

 


VP Balloons - Sebastien Bernier

Sebastien, the current VP Balloons, is a third-year student majoring in electrical engineering, and specializing in energy and environmental engineering. He joined SOAR because it would be a chance to act on a longstanding passion for aerospace. It also gave him a chance to build on his previous experience launching high altitude balloons with a group of Calgary-based amateurs.

In the past year, Sebastien’s Balloons division collaborated with the Department of Space Physics to design a long-endurance tandem balloon system. The team also presented for the Mind in Motion summer camp, with activities that gave children a chance to see what an education in engineering can offer them. This year, Sebastien plans to collaborate with the rocket’s payload and avionics teams; assisting in design while test-flying their designs before they compete. Balloons will launch at least three times; first flying the payload team’s experiment from the previous year, and then flying the current year’s payload and rocket avionics. To accomplish this, he’s partnering with local sponsors, raising funds, and engaging SOAR in community events - such as the upcoming Wings Over Springbank Airshow.

Sebastien enjoys working with SOAR because of its tight-knit, interdisciplinary organization and its supportive atmosphere. It’s a place where computer scientists can rub shoulders with physicists while working with mechanical engineers. There is always something new to learn. In the end, Sebastien sees SOAR’s goals as being to invent, instruct, and inspire. Team members should learn to invent and innovate, gaining valuable problem-solving skills. Meanwhile, SOAR should support and instruct them through a supportive, knowledgeable team environment. Lastly, it should inspire students - both past, present, and future - to pursue their passions and career aspirations. When he’s not busy with SOAR or with school, Sebastien’s an avid runner and cyclist, but he also enjoys a good book. Reading about the Apollo program as a child convinced him to pursue a career in engineering. Unsurprisingly, he’s also a great fan of science fiction literature.

 


VP Rockets - Jeff Martens

Jeff joined SOAR in the fall of 2015 and is now in his third year of mechanical engineering as well as VP Rockets. His interest in SOAR began when a friend that was already in the club told him that SOAR pertained to rockets, balloons, and CubeSats. He attributes space alone as his driving interest in starting an engineering degree so joining SOAR was a no-brainer. 

Jeff started as a member, helping out with making rocket parts and design and later came to lead the charge on design and manufacturing of all airframe components. Today he is VP Rockets and leads the rocket team not only in airframe but all the other various aspects required to launch a rocket. Jeff hopes that SOAR attracts passionate people who are interested in the cutting edge of engineering and physics, and in things that transcend our species' focuses here on earth.

He wants to make the rocket team an efficient, professional, inspiring, and world-class team of engineers, scientists, and space enthusiasts. Jeff also wants SOAR to have a team culture that allows for these virtues to continue on into the future as our team continually improves year after year. One of Jeff's most prominent hobbies includes lifting weights. In fact, Jeff competes in the sports of powerlifting and mass wrestling (at a national level as of 2018!), and strongman. Apart from those, he enjoys reading, cooking, camping, video games, sci-fi, cards, and RPGs.


VP Finance - Angela Le

Angela is working on her degree in mechanical engineering with specialization in biomedical engineering. She is in her 2nd year and joined SOAR in 2017 because she loves space and wanted the opportunity to explore more about it. She was part of the launch systems teach last year and now, she is VP Finance. Angela feels that SOAR allows her to take skills she learned in classes and apply them to a real situation. This year Angela is hoping to be more involve with SOAR and contribute more to the design aspects. In her free time, Angela likes to do a lot of outdoor sports such as rafting, hiking, and camping. 


VP Internal - Wajeeha Hassan

Wajeeha is a physics major with a minor in chemistry. She is in her third year and joined SOAR in the winter semester of 2018. Wajeeha’s interest in SOAR came from her interests in aviation and the space industry. As VP Internal, Wajeeha handles communication and collaborates with other executives to oversee sponsorships, social media, and fundraising. She also co-leads the Administration Team. Wajeeha’s long-term goal is for SOAR to becomes a reputable club at the University of Calgary, that becomes a source for Aerospace talent for high-end companies. Short term, she would like to help SOAR create a network of partnerships in Calgary, as well as on a provincial and a federal level. Outside SOAR, Wajeeha enjoys photography, hiking and reading mystery novels.


VP External - Rashidul Islam

Rashidul is a chemical engineering major at the University of Calgary, in his second year. He joined SOAR after hearing from a friend during Spring 2018, as an airframe team member. Visiting a work day and getting to experience first hand the practical engineering application of classroom knowledge and team camaraderie, had him hooked.

He feels lucky and motivated to have an opportunity to lead this talented multidisciplinary student team and hopes to share his own expertise while still learning himself. His daily objective is to make sure that the external communications and logistics of the club run smoothly as well as handling sponsorship accusation. Rashidul wants to keep in mind his long-term goals as an executive of the professional growth and passionate culture among the team, whose members go on to put Calgary on the global stage in the aerospace industry and beyond.

Besides engineering and rockets, he loves spending time and going out with family and friends. He has also loved playing competitive soccer since high school (something about the satisfaction in a bone-crunching tackle he says).


CRC Liason - Nathan Meulenbroek

Nathan is a fourth year Physics and Computer Science major who has been working with SOAR for four years. A veteran member of the club, he has participated in many roles. As Head of Software from 2015 to 2017, he more than tripled the size of the software team and maintained 4 distinct software projects for SOAR. As VP Communications from 2016 to 2017, well, he sent out emails and did some administrative stuff. He served as President from 2017-2018 and is now helping the team by interfacing with national initiatives. 

A self-proclaimed avionics enthusiast, he has spent most of his time developing the electronics and software for our various rockets. He has a deep interest in data collection and modeling for scientific purposes and is actively working to further his knowledge of computational processing with SOAR and elsewhere. Nathan plans to pursue graduate studies in Computational Physics or Neuroscience and wishes to continue his involvement in the aerospace industry throughout his university career and beyond.