Meet Michael Dax Garner

Michael Dax Garner was a student in the pilot Space Systems Engineering class at The University of Texas at Austin in spring 2007. That class, as well as his experiences in the Aerospace Engineering Department's satellite design lab, inspired Dax to pursue systems engineering further in graduate school.

While a graduate student in UT's engineering master's degree program, Dax was the teaching assistant for the Space Systems Engineering class for two semesters, even teaching some of the lectures and participating in class discussions. His thesis -Systems Engineering Processes for a Student-based Design Laboratory - became the culmination of his systems engineering learning. This thesis is now available for other universities to use as a reference for their own efforts in student satellite projects.

In Dax's words:

"The purpose of this thesis is to describe the systems engineering processes and techniques necessary for a student-based project, and explicitly show how to implement these processes. Although attempts have been made to utilize a few systems engineering techniques in past projects, many students did not properly and consistently apply those techniques to the technical design work. The goal of the thesis is to tailor the NASA systems engineering processes to a student-based design laboratory environment and to apply the methodologies to the mission design of Paradox (Picosatellite for Autonomous Rendezvous and Docking on-Orbit eXperiment)."


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