Blue Skies teams may use the competition name and logo on anything which specifically and positively represents the competition, but the logos should not be altered in any manner. This includes any presentations or promotions you do before, during, and after the onsite portion of the competition.
NASA Logo/Media Usage Guidelines
Blue Skies Wordmark – Full Color
Blue Skies Wordmark – Black
Blue Skies Wordmark – White
Blue Skies Seal – Full Color
Blue Skies Seal – Black
Blue Skies Seal – White
Blue Skies Stacked – Full Color
Blue Skies Stacked – Black
Blue Skies Stacked – White
Blue Skies Seal (Alt) – Full Color
Blue Skies Seal (Alt) – Black
Blue Skies Seal (Alt) – White
Blue Skies Stacked (Alt) – Full Color
Blue Skies Stacked (Alt) – Black
Blue Skies Stacked (Alt) – White
Blue Skies Landscape – Full Color
Blue Skies Landscape – Black
Blue Skies Landscape – White
Janice Kurbjun Miller
National Institute of Aerospace
Janice Miller serves as Program Lead and Communications Manager on the Higher Education Challenge team at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA), which manages Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL), RASC-AL Special Edition, the Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-Changing (BIG) Idea Challenge, Gateways to Blue Skies, Human Lander Challenge, and others. She has additionally worked in a communications role alongside NASA leadership to write, edit, design, and consult on infographic design for Exploration Frontiers (2021) and Moon to Mars Strategy & Objectives Development (2023). She has more than a decade of program management, strategic business development, and outreach experience, most recently serving as Executive Director of Breck Film, parent organization of the Breckenridge Film Festival in Breckenridge, CO.
She is an award-winning reporter and editor who worked for more than five years with a number of news outlets. Janice owned and operated her own business supporting marketing, communications, events and strategic planning for small businesses and nonprofits. During this time, she freelanced, including several technical writing, grant and reporting assignments for the statewide Colorado Water Plan, Summit School District and Headwaters Magazine. Janice holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies & Communications from the University of Virginia and has completed several business-related continuing education courses.
NASA’s Ames Research Center
Koushik Datta is the University Innovation Project Manager for NASA Aeronautics. Koushik’s portfolio consists of University Leadership Initiative, University Student Research Challenge, and Gateways to Blue Skies competitions. His current passion is utilizing university talent to develop zero emissions aviation for the mid-century and to develop the workforce for the unique maintenance issues that will crop up with the new forms of air transportation. His project is working with 97 universities to develop a wide variety of innovative aeronautical concepts – 11 of these universities are Historically Black Colleges and Universities and 20 others are Minority Serving Institutions. Koushik received his Ph.D. in Operations Research from UC Berkeley and his B.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Madras.
National Institute of Aerospace
Genevieve Ebarle’s bio coming soon!
National Institute of Aerospace
Director, Education & Outreach
Shelley Spears is the Director of Education and Outreach at NIA. In this role, she leads program and business development, program management, and strategic initiatives and partnerships. NIA’s Education and Outreach department specializes in the development and execution of customized K-12 and university level initiatives with government, industry and academia at the national, region and state levels. She and her team are very proud and honored to administer NASA’s prestigious RASC-AL programs.
Shelley has 20 years of experience in high tech business and program management. Prior to joining NIA in 2009, she held senior management roles in with Nortel Networks, a global data networking and telecommunications corporation, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and served as a regional representative for U.S. Senator Charles S. Robb (VA). Ms. Spears is a proud alumna of James Madison University.
National Institute of Aerospace
Higher Education Programs Portfolio Manager
Stacy Dees is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) currently serving as NIA’s Higher Education Challenges Portfolio Manager, administering several engineering design competitions for NASA, including RASC-AL, the Gateways to Blue Skies Competition, and the Breakthrough, Innovative, Game-Changing Idea Challenge. She has 20 years of experience managing federal education programs, spending a significant amount of that time administering minority-focused education programs for NASA.
Previous roles have included Acting Director of NASA’s Langley Aerospace Research Summer Scholars Program, Program Manager for the NASA RASC-AL Special Edition: Moon to Mars Ice & Prospecting Challenge, BIG Idea Challenge, Gateways to Blue Skies Competition, SMD’s FLOATing DRAGON Balloon Challenge, several FAA university challenges, and Program Manager for the NASA MAES Undergraduate Scholarship Program with the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists.
In 2010, she came to NIA from the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, where she served as the Director of External Affairs. Ms. Dees holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Science Degree with honors in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from Christopher Newport University.
NASA’s Glenn Research Center
Andrew Provenza is the Deputy Project Manager of Technology for NASA’s University Innovation Project. He is responsible for co-managing the projects activities as well as harnessing the university ecosystem to develop new innovative concepts towards reducing the negative effects of aviation on our Planet. Fresh new ideas will be needed, as we look out beyond our National Net Zero Carbon Emissions Goals for 2050, to reduce emissions even further – towards True Zero.
Prior to this, Andrew was a Research Engineer here at NASA Glenn working on a variety of turbomachinery research projects. Highlights include real–time aeromechanics safety monitoring and analysis for NASA and commercial customer aircraft propulsive fan research in NASA Glenn wind tunnels, and magnetic bearing research and development for ground, aero, and space applications.
NASA’s Langley Research Center
Steven Holz became the Assistant Project Manager for the University Innovation (UI) Project in 2020. In this role, he supports NASA in educating the next generation of aeronautical innovators by providing opportunities for university-led teams to conduct research into transformative technology that supports NASA Aeronautics’ major research goals.
Holz began his career at NASA working on the Environmentally Responsible Aviation (ERA) Project as a Pathways Intern while finishing his graduate engineering coursework. After converting to a permanent civil service position, Holz worked conducting systems analysis as well as systems engineering for NASA projects including the Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program’s (TACP) CAS X-Plane Study, the UAV Range Support for Hypersonic Flight Test Evaluation Study, Advanced Air Transport Technology Project’s (AATT) AATT’s SUGAR Truss-Braced Wing, the Aeronautics Evaluation and Test Capabilities (AETC) Program, and the Air Traffic Management eXploration (ATM-X) Project. In addition to his NASA Aeronautics work, Holz supports NASA’s work with small business through the SBIR program, and advocates for diversity and inclusion through leadership in NASA’s Employee Resource Groups.
He received his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering and Master’s in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida (UCF).
Susan Bayley is the Lead, Safety Systems and Processes for LIFTE H2, a hydrogen infrastructure company. LIFTE H2 is pioneering deployment of global hydrogen infrastructure solutions that create scale in this nascent industry. In her role, Bayley leads a team responsible for safety in product design, project execution, operations and maintenance, and business operations. LIFTE H2 is a member of the Center for Hydrogen Safety (CHS) and Bayley is LIFTE’s corporate representative to the CHS.
Bayley has over 25 years in applying safety principles to engineer designs in aviation, oil and gas, and Department of Defense projects. In the aviation sector, she oversaw safety evaluations of engine test facilities and developed best practices for the maintenance of high-energy systems. In the oil and gas industry, Bayley coordinated across an Engineer, Procurement, Construction (EPC) company to ensure processes were in place for the safe design of gas processing facilities. Bayley supported the Department of Defense in Risk, Safety and Operations roles to ensure the safe and timely destruction of the nation’s chemical weapons stockpile.
Bayley holds a Bachelor degree in chemical physics from Rice University – Houston, TX and a Master of Science degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She is a licensed professional engineering in the state of Wisconsin and is certified as a Project Management Professional (PMP). Bayley is also credentialed as a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), and Certified Hazardous Materials Manager (CHMM).
Peggy Cornell is the Deputy Project Manager for NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project. Throughout her career of hands-on experience with jet engines, test engineering expertise in the effort to power space missions reliably, and leadership roles in aeronautics, she has demonstrated exceptional and sustained contributions to aeronautics and space.
Peggy has over 28 years of experience at NASA as a technician, engineer, and project manager. She’s worked with multi-disciplinary, multi-project, multi-Center teams at the program, project and subproject levels. She started her career as a Mechanical Engineering Technician supporting various aeronautics testing facilities. After earning her BS in Physics, she spent a decade as a Technical Lead and engineer testing Stirling power convertors and researching multilayer insulation for radioisotope power systems. She then went on to earn her MS in Mechanical Engineering and moved to the Aeronautics Mission Office where she has been an integral part of leadership teams supporting commercial supersonics, electrified aircraft, electric vertical takeoff/landing vehicles, unmanned aircraft systems, and other groundbreaking areas.
In parallel to her early NASA service, Peggy served her country in the USAFR as a Jet Engine Mechanic. She has always been very passionate about aviation/aeronautics and is an active volunteer for STEM, promoting activities and providing mentorship to young engineers and engineering students. Ms. Cornell has made notable advancements to aeronautics and space research through her leadership and technical contributions. These attributes have earned her the lifetime distinction award of Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and in 2021, she was elected (and holds current status as) a Regional Director in AIAA.
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center
Matthew Boucher is a Navigation, Guidance, and Control engineer at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center. He is currently serving as Co-Principal Investigator for the Subsonic Single Aft Engine (SUSAN) Electrofan project, which seeks to reduce aircraft emissions by 50%. His focus is on the use of distributed hybrid electric propulsion for flight control, and the joint impact of power, propulsion, and flight control on configuration design and performance. In addition, he oversees development of vehicle management, simulation, and ground control systems for the subscale SUSAN research vehicle.
Boucher is also a member of the X-59 Low Boom Flight Demonstrator Flight Dynamics, Aeroservoelasticity, and Control Room Test Teams. In those roles, his responsibilities pertain to analysis, integration, ground test, and flight test. Prior to his current assignments, Boucher was Controls & Dynamics Lead for the X-56 Multi-Utility Aeroelastic Demonstrator. He has an MS in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Purdue University and MS and BS degrees in Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a recipient of a NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.
U.S. Department of Energy
Dr. Mani Gavvalapalli is the Program Manager for Carbon Capture in the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management at the Department of Energy (DOE). In this role, Dr. Gavvalapalli is responsible for planning, management, and administration of Research, Development, and Demonstration activities focused on advancing technologies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the power and industrial sectors.
Prior to joining DOE in 2021, Dr. Gavvalapalli worked as a senior scientist at NASA Research and Education Support Services (NRESS) where she managed three NASA programs that focused on developing innovative aerospace concepts and advancing space technologies that could transform future space missions and enable sustainable presence of humans on the Moon, Mars, and beyond. Dr. Gavvalapalli has also worked as a process technology development engineer at Intel Corporation where she was responsible for process development for semiconductor chip manufacturing. Dr. Gavvalapalli holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, an M.S. in Chemistry from the University of Hyderabad, India, and a B.S. (Hons.) in Chemistry from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, India.
Dr. Devin Pugh-Thomas is NASA Langley Research Center’s Integration Lead for the Convergent Aeronautics Solutions (CAS) Project. In collaboration with the CAS project management team, Dr. Pugh-Thomas provides technical and programmatic leadership to foster innovation in aeronautics. The CAS project invests in seemingly improbable ideas which have the potential to transform the aviation landscape to include safety, environmental impacts, and the global growth in air traffic.
Dr. Pugh-Thomas is an experienced NASA researcher and project manager. She began her career as a research scientist in the field of nanotechnology. Dr. Pugh-Thomas lead innovative research in quantum dots for remote sensing. She lead R&D in lidar component technologies including laser materials, detectors and advanced nonmechanical beam steering. Dr. Pugh-Thomas’ work has been supported by NASA’s Center Innovation Fund and Internal Research and Development Program. Dr. Pugh-Thomas was awarded a NASA Early Career Initiative (ECI) for her proposal, Electro-Optical Technology Development in Liquid Crystal Beam Steering (E-Optics). As E-Optics project manager, Dr. Pugh-Thomas lead a multidisciplinary team in conducting applied research on novel laser beam steering device architectures and materials for remote sensing. Prior to joining CAS, she served as deputy project manager for Langley’s GPX2 space flight project.
Dr. Pugh-Thomas holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Norfolk State University, M.S. degree in Materials Science and Engineering and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of Virginia. She was the recipient of a NASA Graduate Student Researcher (GSRP) Fellowship, National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowship, and National Institute Aerospace (NIA) Fellowship. Dr. Pugh-Thomas has 10 technical publications and conference proceedings. Her affiliations include Optica, the Virginia Council on Women, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.
Jeanne Yu is a senior technologist co-leading NASA’s Sky for All Vision. Sky for All is a community co-developed initiative developing both R&D and integration strategy for the mid-21st century airspace system. Through this initiative, NASA collaborates across the federal government, industry and internationally to usher in new paradigms for sustainability, operator empowerment and resiliency, and learning-based adaptation. Development of cutting-edge capabilities of autonomy, AI/ML, digital engineering, and advanced systems of systems engineering will support the aviation industry in the design of a truly seamless global airspace system.
Previously, Yu was the Director for Technology Integration and created the ecoDemonstrator Program for Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Product Development. The ecoDemonstrator Program recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, having performed flight tests with over 200 technologies on nine ecoDemonstrator airplanes, including 737, 787, 777, 757 and an Embraer E170.
Prior, Yu was the Director for Environmental Performance developing environmental technologies for emissions, aircraft energy, noise, cabin environment, materials and processes. Earlier in her career, efforts include integration of technologies for the 787 Dreamliner Cabin environment and responsibilities as a manager for aircraft Environmental Control Systems.
Yu began her career as a thermal analyst at Sandia National Laboratories.
Yu received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from University of Illinois and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in Thermosciences from Stanford University.
Jeanne’s post it: Lean Forward, Learn Continuously and Lead with Courageous Optimism.
Mr. Craig Nickol began his career in 1994 as an aerospace engineer in the Advanced Design Branch at the Naval Air Systems Command. He led the Multi-mission Maritime Aircraft (MMA) conceptual design team starting in 1998 and served for four years as the Deputy Program Manager in the MMA program office resulting in the development and eventual production of the Navy’s P-8A Poseidon aircraft and the MQ-4C Triton UAV.
Mr. Nickol came to NASA Langley’s Systems Analysis Branch in 2003 as the leader of the Conceptual Design Shop tool development effort under the Vehicle Systems Program. Subsequently, he performed design studies for HALE UAVs, advanced subsonic commercial transports, and X-Plane demonstrator concepts, working with DARPA and industry on a variety of design and development efforts. He served as the X-59 Low Boom Flight Demonstrator Project Manager from 2017-2022, and is currently serving as the Senior Technical Advisor for the Integrated Aviation Systems Program. Mr. Nickol received his undergraduate degree in Fluid and Thermal Engineering Science from Case Western Reserve University in 1992 and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia in 1994. Mr. Nickol is an AIAA Associate Fellow.
Mina Cuppuccio is currently the Deputy Project Manager for the University Innovation Project. She obtained her BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from University of Massachusetts and Pennsylvania State University, respectively, and has more than 35 years of engineering experience.
Prior to joining the University Innovation Project team, Miss Cappuccio held supervisory/management positions in the Engineering Directorate. Her journey in the Engineering Directorate started as the Systems Engineering Branch Chief. After managing several projects, she was asked to manage the Spaceflight Projects Office (SPO). The SPO oversaw CubeSat missions to demonstrate new technologies, CubeSat launcher technologies, and space biology payloads for ISS and CubeSat missions. Miss Cappuccio became the division chief of the Engineering Systems Division, which provides engineering support to many aeronautics and space projects, and technology development across NASA Ames Research Center and other NASA centers.
In addition to positions within the Engineering Directorate, Miss Cappuccio spent 12 years as a project manager for many space transportation and technology development projects including X-37 Wing Leading Edge Thermal Protection System and Stratospheric Observatory For Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Science.
Miss Cappuccio started her career in Aeronautics as a researcher in propulsion-airframe integration for the High-Speed Research Program (HSRP) at NASA Ames Research Center and for military aircraft at Boeing.