School of Engineering

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  • Maria Sakovsky

    Maria Sakovsky

    Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics

    BioMaria Sakovsky's work focuses on the use of shape adaptation to realize space structures with reconfigurable geometry, stiffness, and even non-mechanical performance (ex. electromagnetic, optical). Particular focus is placed on the mechanics of thin fiber reinforced composite structures, the interplay between composite material properties and structural geometry, as well as embedded functionality and actuation of lightweight structures. The work has led to applications in deployable space structures, reconfigurable antennas, and soft robotics.

    Maria Sakovsky received her BSc in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Toronto. Following this, she completed her MSc and PhD in Space Engineering at Caltech, where she developed a deployable satellite antenna based on origami concepts utilizing elastomer composites. She concurrently worked with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on developing cryogenically rated thin-​ply composite antennas for deep space missions. For her ongoing research on physically reconfigurable antennas, she was awarded the ETH Zürich postdoctoral fellowship as well as the Innovation Starting Grant.

  • Debbie Senesky

    Debbie Senesky

    Associate Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics and, by courtesy, of Electrical Engineering

    BioDebbie G. Senesky is an Associate Professor at Stanford University in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department and by courtesy, the Electrical Engineering Department. In addition, she is the Principal Investigator of the EXtreme Environment Microsystems Laboratory (XLab). Her research interests include the development of nanomaterials for extreme harsh environments, high-temperature electronics for Venus exploration, and microgravity synthesis of nanomaterials. In the past, she has held positions at GE Sensing (formerly known as NovaSensor), GE Global Research Center, and Hewlett Packard. She received the B.S. degree (2001) in mechanical engineering from the University of Southern California. She received the M.S. degree (2004) and Ph.D. degree (2007) in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Prof. Senesky is the Site Director of nano@stanford. She is currently the co-editor of two technical journals: IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems and Sensors. In recognition of her research, she received the Emerging Leader Abie Award from in 2018, Early Faculty Career Award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 2012, Gabilan Faculty Fellowship Award in 2012, and Sloan Ph.D. Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation in 2004.

    Prof. Senesky's career path and research has been featured on Seeker, People Behind the Science podcast, The Future of Everything radio show,, and NPR's Tell Me More program. More information about Prof. Senesky can be found at and on Instagram (@astrodebs).