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Paula do Vale Pereira

Assistant Professor | College of Engineering and Science - Aerospace, Physics and Space Sciences

Contact Information

Personal Overview

Professional Affiliations:

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
    • Small Satellite Technical Committee (SmSTC)
    • Chair of the Technical Affairs Subcommittee of the SmSTC
    • Deputy Technical Program Chair for the ASCEND 2023 Conference
    • Space Exploration Integration and Outreach Committee
  • Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
    • Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society
    • Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society
  • International Astronautical Federation (IAF)
    • Part of the Planning Committee of the Global Space Conference on Climate Change 2023 (GLOC)
  • American Astronomical Society (AAS)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • Network for Ocean Worlds (NOW)
    • Future Leaders of Ocean Wolrds (FLOW)

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. in Space Systems Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2022
  • M.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2019
  • M.Sc. in Thermal Sciences and Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 2017
  • B.S. in Business and Management, State University of Santa Catarina, 2015
  • B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Santa Catarina, 2014

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Florida Institute of Technolgoy, 2022 - ongoing
  • Research Assistant, MIT Space Telecommunications, Astronomy, and Radiation Laboratory, 2018 - 2022
  • Visitng Research Student, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, 2021-2022
  • Optical and Satellite Systems Intern, Facebook, 2019 and 2020
  • Research Assistant, MIT Media Lab, 2019 - 2020
  • Aerospace Engineering Intern, Stone Aerospace, 2018
  • Research Assistant, Polo National Institute of Sciente and Technology in Refrigeration and Thermophysics, 2010 - 2017
  • Research and Development Intern, Bosch and Siemens Home Appliances Group, 2013-2014
  • Materials Science Visiting Research Student, Imperial College London, 2012

Current Courses

  • AEE 4263 - Space Flight Mechanics
  • AEE 4806 - Space Mission Engineering

Selected Publications

  • P. do Vale Pereira, M. J. Durka, B. P. Hogan, K. Richmond, M. W. E. Smith, D. P. Winebrenner, W. T. Elam, B. J. Hockman, A. Lopez, N. Tanner, J. Moor, J. Ralston, M. Alexander, W. Zimmerman, N. Flannery, W. Kuhl, S. Wielgosz, K. L. Cahoy, T. A. Cwik, W. C. Stone. Experimental Validation of Cryobot Thermal Models for the Exploration of Ocean Worlds, AAS Planetary Science Journal, 2023.
  • E. M. Spiers, J. M. Weber, C. Venigalla, A. M. Annex, C. P. Chen, C. Lee, P. C. Gray, K. J. McIntyre, J. R. Berdis, S. R. Carberry-Mogan, P. do Vale Pereira, S. Kumar, W. O’Neill, E. A. Czajka, P. E. Johnson, A. Pascuzzo, S. Tallapragada, D. Phillips, K. Mitchell, A. Nash, J. Scully, L. Lowes. Tiger: Concept Study for a New Frontiers Enceladus Habitability Mission, AAS Planetary Science Journal, 2 (195), 2021.
  • R. E. Morgan, E. S. Douglas, G. Allan, P. do Vale Pereira, J. N. Gubner, C. Haughwout, B. G. Holden, T. J. Murphy, J. Merk, M. D. Egan, G. Furész, D. Roascio, Y. Xin, K. L. Cahoy. Optical calibration and first light for the deformable mirror demonstration mission CubeSat (DeMi), Journal of Astronomical Telescopes Instruments and Systems 7(2), 2021.
  • P. do Vale Pereira, B. Holden, R. Morgan, J. Gubner, T. J. Murphy, C. Haughwout, G. Allan, Y. Xin, W. Kammerer, K. Cahoy, E. Douglas, J. Merk, M. Egan, G. Furesz. Thermomechanical Design and Testing of the Deformable Mirror Demonstration Mission (DeMi) CubeSat, Small Satellite Conference, 2020.
  • P. do Vale Pereira, M. Garcia, M. Schroeder, H. Caldelas, C. Lindsay, A. Choi, K. Pfrang, A. Gagnon, P. McKeen, J. Clark, T. J. Murphy, C. Haughwout, K. Cahoy. BeaverCube: Coastal Imaging with VIS/LWIR CubeSats, Small Satellite Conference, 2020.
  • P. do Vale Pereira, M. T. Hunwardsen, K. Cahoy. Characterization of Laser Thermal Loading on Microelectromechanical Systems-Based Fast Steering Mirror in Vacuum, Optical Engineering 59(5), 2020.

Recognition & Awards

  • Trailblazer in Engineering - Purdue University, 2022
  • Rising Star in Aerospace - MIT, 2021
  • Molly K. Macauley Award - American Astronautical Society, 2021
  • TVML Fellow - MIT, 2021
  • Student Leadership Award - MIT AeroAstro, 2020 and 2021
  • Rising Star in Mechanical Engineering - UC Berkeley, 2020
  • Best Path to Flight Award - NASA BIG Idea Challenge, 2020
  • AIAA/Aviation Week 20 Twenties - AIAA/Aviation Week, 2020
  • Amelia Earhart Fellow - Zonta International Foundation, 2019
  • Graduate Women of Excellence - MIT, 2019
  • Section Achievement Award - AIAA, 2018
  • Summa Cum Laude - Federal University of Santa Catarina, 2014
  • AeroDesign International, 3rd Place - Society of Automotive Engineers, 2013
  • First Place at the Entrance Exam (Vestibular) - Federal University of Santa Catarina, 2008


SPACE Lab (Space exPloration And spaceCraft Engineering Lab)

  • Small satellites and CubeSats
  • Probes for the exploration of Ocean Worlds
  • Space exploration hardware development
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