Brian Badders

Brian Badders
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, North Dakota
Space Studies
Principal Investigator: Dr. Brad Bailey

Education and Experience:

I grew up in a rural area near Erie, Pennsylvania. While there would sometimes be an absence of science and technology, this area was a prime location for observing the night sky. At a young age, my father woke me up in the middle of the night and took me outside to witness an amazing meteor storm. At that point, I knew that my interest in space was something that I could not turn away from. I had a great vantage point to look into the incredible world of space exploration that is sometimes so easy for people to ignore. Growing up, I loved to explore by climbing on almost anything there was and taking apart anything I could get my hands on. Fueled by my innate passion for exploration, I excelled in advanced math and science courses throughout my early education.

Meanwhile, I also became very involved in athletics and competed in every sport I could. Having three siblings probably expedited the development of my competitive nature and drove the development of a good work ethic and an appreciation for teamwork. In high school I earned varsity letters in four different sports while being enrolled in the school’s most rigorous International Baccalaureate courses. This devotion to athletics and commitment to my education allowed me to develop significant time management, leadership, and teamwork skills which I consistently apply in other aspects of my life.


My interest in space exploration led me to pursue degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. During my undergraduate career, I applied my leadership and teamwork skills to successfully lead major community service efforts, complete aerospace engineering internships at Lord Corporation, and participated in various intramural athletics. After graduating, I decided to pursue a Master of Science degree in Space Studies at the University of North Dakota in order to focus on the Astronautical engineering aspect of aerospace engineering. My graduate studies have been supplemented through hands on experience with experimental space suits, high altitude ballooning, small spacecraft development, and high power rocketry.


I expect that this summer experience will be challenging as well as rewarding. By combining the academic and professional experiences of this team, we will be able to learn a lot from each other and make progress in several areas of space exploration research. While being mindful that advances in space exploration are not likely to be accomplished through individual efforts, I am excited to take part in this cumulative effort that stresses the importance of teamwork and leadership. This experience will allow the team to gain a better understanding of how NASA functions and provide us with many opportunities to interact with our potential future colleagues. I hope that the Academy experience will be able to further develop and direct our leadership skills in a way that will make us integral parts of the future of aerospace developments.