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SSPI Northeast - Satellite Professions International

SSPI Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter (US)

Serves: Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and West Virginia

The SSPI Mid-Atlantic Chapter boasts an energetic and active chapter, with educational and networking events throughout the year. These events support our scholarship activities, allowing the Chapter to award more than $173,000 to space and satellite related educational programs and area university students over the past 14 years. 

2022 Student Prize Competition Winners

Best Presentation

  • Winner: Jaime Rios - University of the District of Columbia (UDC)
  • Project: Design of a Novel Additively Manufactured Solar Array for use on the Lunar Surface
  • A quote from the winner: "I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the SSPI competition. It was a fantastic experience to see the stellar work being done by my fellow students and to receive focused feedback from industry professionals."


  • Winner: Colby Merrill - University of Maryland (UMD)
  • Project: Experimental Results of Novel Gecko Skin-inspired Lunar Dust Mitigation Technology
  • A quote from the winner: "It was an excellent opportunity to engage with other student researchers! I will definitely make my way back to it in the next few years."

Application of the Scientific Method

  • Winner: Kelsey Schneider, Thomas Page, Darwin Quiroz, Jacob Brookhart - George Mason University (GMU)
  • Project: Design and Integration of SWaP-C Synthetic Aperture Radar
  • A quote from the winner: "As Richard Feynman said, ' Students should be made to think, to doubt, to communicate, to question, to learn from their mistakes, and most importantly have fun in their learning.' "

2022-2023 Board

President (2022-2023): Marie-Pierre Pluvinage
Vice President (2022-2023): George Knizewski
Secretary (2021-2023): Pat Rayerman
Treasurer (2022-2024): Brian Hult
Immediate Past President (2022-2023): Eileen McGowan
Executive Committees:
Scholarship Co-Chairs (2021-2023): Mark Lekowski & Keir Daniels
Membership Chair (2022-2024): Carolyn Cuppernull
Mentorship Chair (2021-2023): Alena Koci
Programs Co-Chairs (2022-2023): Arnie Christianson & Haleigh Kling
Publicity Chair (2022-2023): Blake Wiles
(2022-2024) Fabien Armogathe
(2021-2023) Vincenzo Cordaro
(2022-2024)  Aatam Godhwani
(2021-2023) Jodi Goldberg
(2022-2024) Amit Katti
(2021-2023) David Kaufman
(2022-2024) Justin Park
Counsel to SSPI: Dara Panahy, Milbank

Student Board Observers:
(2022-2023) Jay Deorukhkar, GMU

Scholarship Programs

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter's scholarship program provides grants each year to three Mid-Atlantic area universities to support students pursuing studies space- and satellite-related studies. In partnership with The George Washington University, George Mason University and The University of Maryland, scholarship awards have supported 33 scholarships totaling $132,000.

In addition, each spring, the Chapter hosts a student prize competition, modeled after the Pelton Prize and developed in consultation with Dr. Joseph N. Pelton, former Dean of the International Space University and Vice Chairman and Founder of the Arthur C. Clarke Foundation. During the competition, graduate and undergraduate engineering students present their projects to a panel of industry experts who evaluate the students' projects via Q&A, scoring them on technical, presentation and other criteria to determine the winners in three different categories.

What's coming.....

Support the Chapter

If you would like to donate to support our Chapter, click here:

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Online Space Industry Resources

Check our these research resources for Students and Young Professionals in the Space and Satellite Industry. Compiled by our friends at the Satellite Industry Assocation