Students for the exploration and development of space

Board of Directors


As the largest student ran non-profit in the United States, our student directors have a strong passion for space and teaching others about it. They are responsible for growing the organization and they transition at the annual SpaceVision Conference

Charlie Nitschelm

Chair of the Board
University of New Hampshire

Charlie Nitschelm, Chair: University of New Hampshire

Hi Space Team! My name is Charlie Nitschelm and I am the Chair of SEDS-USA for the 2019-2020 term. I am currently finishing up my senior year at the University of New Hampshire where I will be graduating with a BS in mechanical engineering and a minor in physics.  I am the lead engineer at my local SEDS chapter, UNH SEDS, where we are planning to compete in the Spaceport America Cup competition in the Summer of 2020 with our custom hybrid rocket engine. After I graduate, I will be moving to LA to start my full-time job at SpaceX as a build engineer for Starship, the next generation vehicle destined to get the first humans to Mars. My job here at the SEDS national level is to expand our reach as a community, connect our students together, and provide more for everyone in our family. Space is the most inspiring industry; it forms connections with people around the world to accomplish a common goal. It is truly cosmopolitan. I am honored to hold this position and do not take it lightly. If anyone reading this wants to ask any questions, or just simply wants to connect, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email or a text.

George Sarkodie

University of North Texas

George Sarkodie, Vice-Chair: University of North Texas

Hello SEDS Family! I’m George Sarkodie, your current Vice-Chair and Co-Chair of SpaceVision2020 for the 2019-2020 term. I’m a senior at the University of North Texas where I will graduate with a BS in Biomedical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering. At UNT I work in a Smart Polymer lab where I’m currently doing research using shape memory polymers for various biomedical applications such as gut electrodes and anti-bacterial liners for prosthetics. My recent love for polymers is leading me to a future where I will one day work on the next-generation of spacesuits! I competed in the L’Space Proposal Academy where I lead a team to write a proposal on modeling the hysteresis effect in Shape Memory Alloys for Mechanical Counter-Pressure Spacesuits. I’m an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Diversity Scholar and also the SEDS-USA member for the Alliance for Space Development (ASD), a group of nonprofits who have the passion to influence space policy changes within the US government.

Chanel Richardson, Secretary: Tufts University

Hey everyone! My name is Chanel Richardson and I am excited to be serving as the secretary of SEDS-USA for the remainder of the 2020 term. I just finished my senior year at Tufts University where I graduated with a BS in Computer Engineering. This fall I will be starting my MS in Computer Engineering at Duke University. At Tufts I served as the event coordinator and later the president of our SEDS chapter, and I served on the inaugural board of our chapter. I love the space industry for all of the new and innovative ideas that come from thinking about what lies beyond Earth. I am most interested in aspects of the space industry that involve computers and signal processing. While my role is officially secretary, I am most passionate about listening to and advocating for others ideas, so please do not hesitate to reach out with anything you think would be worth pursuing. Though we will be virtual for the foreseeable future, I look forward to getting to know everyone in the greater SEDS community.

Ian Burell

Virginia Tech

Ian Burell, Chair of the Council of Chapters

 What’s good with it Space Fam! My name is Ian Burrell, Chair of the Council of Chapters for SEDS-USA. The Council of Chapters is the organized collection of 80+ US-based SEDS chapters, as chair my job is to oversee activities, collaborations, expansion, and communication between them and the Board of Directors. As a 4th-year at Virginia Tech studying Mechanical Engineering, I have a passion for space engineering and the world of non-profit aerospace organizations. I was president of the VTSEDS chapter and served on the board for three years in various positions. I am currently the Executive Coordinator for the Alliance for Space Development (ASD), a collection of non-profits who advocate for space policy changes within the US government. I am also involved heavily with the Students on Capitol Hill event, which brings SEDS members and other students from across the country to D.C. to assist with the ASD’s political agenda. I consider myself a people-person, and it has been a pleasure working with so many from across the country and world with SEDS projects and activities.

Matthew Barr

University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Matthew Barr, Treasurer: University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Hello all! My name is Matt and I come from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. I am a junior mechanical engineering student working as the treasurer for SEDS USA, a research assistant for the Robotics and Locomotion Laboratory at UMass Lowell, a ground station engineer and web developer for the Lowell Center for Space Sciences and Technology, and as a Drone Pilot for the Civil Engineering Department of UMass Lowell. I am passionate about space exploration and contributing in any way that I can to the overall knowledge basis that humanity has.

Mauricio Martinez

Member at Large
Texas A&M International University

Mauricio Martinez, Member at Large: Texas A&M International University

Hello! My name is Mauricio Martinez and I’m holding the position of Member at Large for the 2019-2020 Board of Directors term. I’m a sophomore Pre-Engineering student at Texas A&M International University, which is located right at the border between Texas and Mexico. I will be transferring next semester to pursue a bachelors in Aerospace Engineering. I decided to start a SEDS chapter at TAMIU last summer, and a lot has happened since then. Our chapter is currently working on Level 1 rocketry certification and the design of a two-stage rocket. Also, I was awarded a scholarship to attend SpaceVision 2019, where I had the idea to run for Member at Large. I’m currently in charge of the Chapter of the Month initiative, which awards one chapter per month with a room and four tickets for SpaceVision. I’m available to help out in other projects and would love to give feedback or hear any ideas that you have to make SEDS a better organization for all of us.

Eitan Lis

Member at Large
Ohio State University

Eitan Lis, Member at Large: Ohio State University

Hey y’all, what’s up space fam? My name is Eitan Lis and I am the Secretary of SEDS-USA, as well as the former President and Founder of SEDS at The Ohio State University. I am about a year from receiving a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy Analysis: Science, Engineering, and Public Policy with a focus on Space Policy. Within four months of the start of the school year SEDS at the Ohio State University was a functioning student organization with consistent membership engaged in a project on a Blue Origin parabolic flight test. By the next year membership had peaked at over 40, overflowing our meeting room. The success of this club all began with me in the fall of 2017, standing at a table at the Involvement Fair, shouting into the crowd with five printouts of a poster.