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Stefannie M

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Purdue University


rocket liquid propulsion, high power rocketry, chemical engineering (reactors, kinetics), mission design concept, Aerospace, Propulsion, Space Exploration Systems


I am Stefannie Morales Jimenez, born and raised in Puerto Rico. I completed my bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez Campus. Throughout my undergraduate career, I engaged in multiple extracurricular activities that included virtual academies with NASA for developing space missions and designing a liquid rocket engine. My extracurricular projects shaped what I wanted to pursue after my bachelors degree. I decided to join Purdue University to complete a Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics focused in propulsion. My research interest is in developing green liquid hypergolic fuels that can be used for small spacecraft missions. This passion has permeated my personal hobbies to the point that I am usually watching aerospace engineering channels in YouTube and doing some reading on this. Nonetheless, I enjoy investing time in other stuff like salsa dancing, playing volleyball, and reading fiction.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Developing a high power rocket for launch

Conduct research on high power rocketry and propose the design of a rocket. The design of the rocket should include the rationale for the motor selection (discussing pros and cons), the design of the rocket structure/air frame, and analysis of performance metrics (altitude, velocity, etc). To gather the performance metrics, the student will conduct simulations in the OpenRocket software (open source) and will compare different scenarios of wind conditions. In this software, the student will be able to design from scratch the rocket and modify the structure fixing a particular motor to achieve X desired performance. This is a comprehensive project that will benefit the student by providing knowledge on high power rocketry, design and simulate a product, and analyze data. The final objective is to write a paper detailing such process.

Languages I know

Spanish (advanced)

Teaching experience

I tutored athlete students in General Chemistry I & II and Calculus I. In average, they improved from a D grade to a B or B+ passing grade.


Work experience

Eastman Chemical Company (2021 - 2021)
Adhesives Technology Research Intern
NASA Langley Research Center (2020 - 2020)
Advanced Materials and Processing Branch Research Intern
AbbVie Biotechnology Ltd. (2019 - 2019)
Bulk Drug Substance Intern
Lilly Del Caribe Inc. (2019 - 2019)
Process Engineering COOP


University of Puerto Rico
BS Bachelor of Science (2021)
Chemical Engineering
Purdue University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Aeronautics & Astronautics

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