I graduated in 2023 and worked at SERC on Maveric, more especially exploring space survivability of LCD panels. My time there enabled me to switch from a theory-based approach of the engineering process, to a concrete one. I was given a field of research with specific goals, and was encouraged to offer solutions in order to fulfil Maveric’s mission goals and technological expectations. Therefore, it was a great experience that allowed me to use my previous knowledge for the active development of technological solutions.

Aymeric Coron, Masters Student French Air and Space Force Academy, 2023

Working at SERC was easily the highlight of my time at USC. It offered me the privilege of working with incredibly talented researchers and engineers on projects that allowed me to apply what I’d learned in class. Prof. Barnhart is a great mentor, always providing valuable guidance or support. I credit the experience I gained working on SERC Floatbots for landing me a job at Northrop Grumman doing research on spacecraft navigation systems.

Samuel Feldman, USC Astronautical Engineering Graduate 2023, Northrop Grumman

My personal experience at SERC took place in the timespan between September 2019 and March 2020. As a foreign visiting student, my experience at SERC had been incredibly valuable. Coming from Italy, where the academic teaching is mostly theoretical, SERC offered to me the very first opportunity I have ever had to perform hands-on activities on very high-level projects, working directly on the development and first-phase realization of a new prototype. Without a doubt this experience had been a great way to strengthen and increase my knowledge and background. Moreover this was also the first time I had the chance to work full time on research and the great time I had at SERC surely helped me in the decision for the path to follow after my graduation.

David Bernacchia, USC Masters Student in 2020, PhD student at University of Bologna

My experience at the USC SERC was a defining part of my education at USC. The access to research projects, laboratories, and flight hardware make the SERC the ideal pairing to the Viterbi ASTE curriculum! My experience and training helped me gain contacts in the industry and work directly with researchers at national labs and aerospace contractors, while working with a team of peers from USC.

Dr Rahul Rughani, USC PhD 2019, Arkisys Chief Systems Engineer

I graduated from USC in 2018, and there is no doubt that the experience I gained from the SERC lab was the major reason for landing my first job at NASA JPL. The project focused approach that is taken at the SERC provides an environment for developing highly practical skills that I still use today.

Jeremy Allam, USC Masters in 2018, Founder Exospace, bought by Siddus Space Inc.

SERC played a pivotal role in shaping my career during my tenure from 2016 to 2017 as a graduate student researcher. Under the expert guidance of Professor David Barnhart, I had the privilege of working on two significant projects that not only expanded my knowledge but also provided invaluable hands-on research experience. Moreover, SERC facilitated connections with industry professionals that ultimately led to my initial role as a Mission Design Engineer at Mandala Space Ventures and my current position as the Platform Architect at Continuum Space Systems. I am extremely grateful to SERC and Professor Barnhart for launching my journey in the aerospace industry.

Niharika Patel, USC Masters Student graduated 2017

I worked at SERC as a Project Lead between 2015-16 before graduating with a Masters in Astronautical Engineering in 2016, working on the design and assembly of a ground station for satellite communications at the USC campus in Downtown LA. Working at SERC was one of the best experiences I got as a graduate student with an all-round exposure to space engineering. Prof. Barnhart is an amazing mentor, providing much needed backing and encouragement to an international student looking to launch his career in a highly restricted aerospace sector in the US. The opportunity and network that came with it helped get my foot in the door in the industry, as an Aerospace Engineer with Mandala Space Ventures and leading me to my current role of Flight Systems Engineer at Continuum Space Systems. I'll be forever grateful to SERC for all it has given me and I'm positive it will continue to pave pathways to bright careers for future USC students.

Sameer Talnikar, USC MS Student graduated 2016

SERC provided a fantastic opportunity for me to contribute to the Aeneas CubeSat program while pursuing my master's degree in Astronautical Engineering at USC. The Aeneas project was an invaluable hands-on experience in both space hardware and software development. Witnessing the satellite that I actively worked on lift off into space was a truly awe-inspiring moment during my academic journey. I owe this remarkable experience to the supportive environment fostered by SERC and the guidance of my exceptional mentors, who played a crucial role in making this venture a reality for me as a student.

Siamak Hesar, USC MS Student graduated May 2012, Co-founder & CEO of Kayhan Space