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Craig J. Kief, Director

Mr. Craig J. Kief serves as Director at COSMIAC. Mr. Kief serves as Research Faculty at the University of New Mexico and has over 32 years of experience in computer and satellite communications, including voice and data networks, testing, troubleshooting, debugging, system administration, embedded software, software/hardware integration, and network monitoring. Mr. Kief has an extensive background in programmable logic involving FPGA and microcontroller technologies. Mr. Kief retired from the Air Force in 1999 following 20 years of military service. Mr. Kief has a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico. He has published and taught in the areas of digital and programmable logic, satellite design and in verification and validation of systems. He is also an IEEE senior member.


Jim Aarestad, Deputy Director

Dr. Jim Aarestad serves as Deputy Director at COSMIAC. Dr. Aarestad received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 2009 and 2011 respectively. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering, also from the University of New Mexico. Dr. Aarestad’s graduate research centered on research and development of VLSI primitives for hardware security, including physical unclonable functions (PUFs) and hardware Trojan detection methodologies. His research interests include the application of highly-robust embedded system design methods for aerospace and terrestrial applications. He has numerous conference and journal publications, and has presented his research at several national conferences. Dr. Aarestad is currently developing the embedded software for a space-based radiation dosimeter module, and is developing educational materials and training programs to advance the teaching of FPGA-based embedded system concepts. He is also actively engaged in a research project to better understand and mitigate the susceptibility of cryptographic computing resources to power analysis attacks.


Christos Christodoulou, Senior Scientist

Professor Christos Christodoulou is a co-founder of COSMIAC and the Dean for the School of Engineering at the University of New Mexico. His research interests are in the areas of modeling of electromagnetic systems, FPGA reconfigurable systems, and smart RF/photonics. He was responsible for leading the COSMIAC collaboration between Government, Industry, and Academia to ensure design success and deployment of programmable logic in space, military and civil applications as well as developing the long-term plans for the Center. Dr. Christodoulou received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1985. He served as a faculty member in the University of Central Florida, Orlando, from 1985 to 1998. In 1999, he joined the faculty of UNM’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, where he served as the Chair of the Department through 2005. Dr. Christodoulou is an IEEE Fellow.


Daryl O. Lee, Senior Scientist

Dr. Daryl O. Lee has over 40 years of engineering, management, and instructional experience. His primary interest is in software engineering of secure real-time systems. Before joining UNM as a Lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Lee was Principal Software Engineer for Novint Technologies. In that position he was responsible for the runtime support software for a breakthrough line of low-cost haptic controllers. Previous activities involved public safety software using agile development methods for rapid delivery. Dr. Lee is a Life member of IEEE. Dr. Lee’s teaching experience includes four years as lecturer at UNM as well as a year as guest lecturer at Hefei Institute of Technology in Hefei, China, and a variety of industrial in-house training programs. Dr. Lee has a PhD, MS EE, Southern Methodist University; BS EE, Lamar University, and a MA International Management Studies, University of Texas at Dallas.


Edl Schamiloglu, Senior Scientist

Professor Edl Schamiloglu is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Schamiloglu received his Ph.D. in Engineering from Cornell University in 1988. He has served as a faculty member at the University of New Mexico since 1988. Dr. Schamiloglu is a Fellow of the IEEE and a SUMMA Foundation Fellow. His research interests are in the areas of modeling of electromagnetic systems, directed energy microwaves, and the effects of high power microwaves on systems.

Santa Maria

Sergio Santa Maria, Research Scientist

Dr. Sergio Santa Maria is a Research Scientist in the Space Bioscience Division at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, CA. Dr. Santa Maria serves as research faculty for COSMIAC at the University of New Mexico. His research interests are in the areas of DNA damage repair, radiobiology, and space radiation. He is currently a Project Scientist for NASA’s BioSentinel mission, a 6U nanosatellite that will fly as a secondary payload on NASA’s Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1), scheduled for launch in 2018. He is responsible for the development of the space radiation biosensors that will be used in BioSentinel and for testing and validation of the biosensors using different ionizing radiation sources, including particle accelerator experiments at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory at Brookhaven National Laboratory and the proton accelerator facility at Loma Linda University. He earned his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from The University of Texas Medical Branch in 2008, and continued his postdoctoral studies at New York University School of Medicine as an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow from 2009 to 2013. He started working at NASA Ames Research Center in 2014.


Brian Zufelt, Senior Engineer

Mr. Brian Zufelt is an Electrical Engineer and graduated from The University of New Mexico. He has written many tutorials on Microcontroller and FPGA design. He has also assisted many community colleges in the creation of FPGA based curriculum. Zufelt has taught microcontroller technology to academia, NASA, and AFRL. Zufelt is the lead software engineer for the ORS Squared satellite effort. He is also the lead engineer for UNM’s second 6U spacecraft called SORTIE.


Matthew Hannon, Senior Engineer

Mr. Matthew Hannon received a M.S. from Wichita State University and a B.S. from the University of Kansas both in Electrical Engineering. Mr. Hannon is very interested in emerging communications technologies with an emphasis on security and availability. Mr. Hannon has served as an advanced development researcher for a large scale-out server and storage infrastructure company for 5 years. Mr. Hannon has a great deal of experience in state of the art networking protocols and equipment, non-volatile memory, erasure encoding, and distributed computing.


Jonathan Carter Hebert, Research Engineer

Jonathan Carter c is a knowledge expert in the areas of engineering design, energy systems, regulatory policy, computational physics, contract valuations, nanoscience, and education. He is completing his Ph.D. in Nanoscience at the University of New Mexico with research emphasis in chemical physics. Holding engineering degrees from Colorado School of Mines and New Mexico Tech, Jonathan is a registered professional engineer. A National Science Foundation Principal Investigator and educator, he also has lead multiple funded STEM education projects throughout the State of New Mexico. His experience includes 5 universities, 2 national research institutions, 2 consulting firms, the Bureau of Reclamation, and patent winning engineering work. Jonathan is supporting COSMIAC’s effort to strengthen ties between educational institutions, research laboratories, and industry.


David Alexander, Research Scholar

Mr. David Alexander received BSEE and MSEE degrees from the United States Air Force Academy in 1968 and from the University of New Mexico in 1973. He has been an active member of the radiation effects community for 42 years. He has held positions at the Air Force Weapons Laboratory, BDM Corporation, Sandia National Laboratories, Mission Research Corporation, the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics, and the Air Force Research Laboratory. He is currently a consultant for COSMIAC and the University of New Mexico. He has been an active participant in the technical community authoring numerous papers in the IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science and the Hardened Electronics and Radiation Technology Conference.


Maria Daw, Senior Program Manager

Mrs. Maria Daw is the Senior Program Manager of the COSMIAC Research Center. She has been working for the University since August of 2005, and with COSMIAC since August 2013. She earned her BBA at the Anderson School of Management. Maria’s duties involve business planning, development and establishing new program funding sources to create a multimillion dollar university affiliated research center at UNM. Maria is the main contact for employing, training, supervising, directing, and evaluating the research center staff, students, and daily administrative research functions. She establishes, manages and tracks financial data for annual budgets to ensure compliance with established management systems and standards. A large amount of COSMIAC’s awards are multifaceted programs, consisting of multiple funders and a wide variety of awards that range across the entire front of contract types to include: Indefinite Duration Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ), Firm Fixed Price (FFP), Cost Reimbursable (CR), Cooperative Agreement (CA), and (Cost Plus Fixed Fee) CPFF. Maria’s job is to understand and manage all aspects of each of these types of contracting vehicles. She also assists in proposal preparation, submission, and contract negotiations as needed/required. She is seen as the main interface to COSMIAC, and as such works directly with the Director to establish the strategic direction of the center to ensure that it remains on path to accomplish these intentions.


Allen G. Chavez, Fiscal Services Tech

Mr. Allen G. Chavez has been working for The University of New Mexico since 2015 and over 8 years of experience working directly with the public for communications and marketing. He had earned his BBA at the Anderson School of Management and received a dual concentration in Marketing and Operations. Allen has the ability to analyze data and compile statistical information into reports that he is able to apply this advanced knowledge to perform tasks such as planning, inventory, procurement, record keeping, and database management. He supports the Director, staff, faculty, and students engaged in implementation and administration of COSMIAC Center objectives.


Erik Johnson, IT Support

Erik Johnson provides IT support at COSMIAC. He is currently taking classes at Central New Mexico Community college in order to get his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of New Mexico. Erik has worked with computers most of his life and participated in the super computing challenge for three years. He’s skilled in problem solving and computer repair. Erik works with the Director to ensure COSMIAC networks stay operational and that the staff, faculty and students can work in a secure IT environment.

Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Casey Ottesen (ME Grad Student) – PM Energy transfer
Haylie Orozco (ChemE) – HPM Energy transfer
Josh Donckels (EE Grad Student) – Embedded processing and M&S
Patrick Latimer (Physics) – Radiation analysis
Ethan Nordhagen-Sorenson (EE) – Ground systems and cybersecurity
Rowdy Davis (NE) – Radiation transport
Katie Haynes (EE/WS) – PCB Development
Joe Pomo (ME Grad Student) – Materials studies/MakerSpace
Erich Brown (ME Grad Student) – Materials studies in thermal lab
Michael Truong (CompE) – Cybersecurity
Isaac Carrasco (CompE/WS) – Cybersecurity
Nathaniel Noble (CompE) – Cybersecurity
John Carilli (Physics Grad Student) – DSX satellite analysis
Brady Spears (Physics) – DSX satellite snalysis
Sam Wilt (EE) – Carbon nanotube research
Kylar Greene (Physics) – M&S on CEASE satellite
Karin Fulford (EE) – Radiometric development of NIST-traceable sources
Sam Pavlakos (ME) – Telescope design and testing
Annette Cortes (CS/WS) – Big data/AI
Jonathan “Zack” Daniels (EE) – SPICE modeling
Luis Hernandez (ME Grad Student) – Remote sensing of materials
Rebecca Kreitinger (CompE) – Control systems
John Rose (EE) – RF systems
Scott Shore (ME PhD Student) – W/V communications systems
Wallie Kincaid (EE Grad Student) – Power systems
Judy Brewer (EE) – SPACR Lab
Ben Rutherford (CompE) – FFT analysis on power systems