Meet the Leads

Executive Team

Aarabhi Achanta
Senior, Astrophysics/Physics/Applied Math
Hi everyone, and welcome to STAR! I have had the privilege of leading this amazing team of engineers for more than a year now, and I wouldn't call any other place home. Outside of STAR, I'm the captain of Maya, an Indian dance group on campus. I enjoy reading, swimming, and hanging out with the homies. Feel free to reach out!
External Vice-President
Aidan Rickert
Freshman, Electrical Engineering/Computer Science
I'm Aidan, STAR's External Vice President. My technical focus is within avionics, specifically live telemetry and video. STAR is my favorite part of being at Berkeley, especially the people and launches, and I'm excited by our new, ambitious projects. Outside of STAR I go camping and hiking with CHAOS, play piano, spend too much money on vinyl, and go to concerts and music festivals. I also live and work as a camp counselor during the summer!
Internal Vice-President
Aarchan Saxena
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
Hello! My name is Aarchan Saxena and I am the Internal VP for STAR. In the past, I was a member of the propulsion sub-team, getting to see the successful hot fires of both ELLIE and LE2! The things that I'm looking forward to most this year are for all of the launches and tests that we have planned for this year. To me, one of the best parts of the team is the people that we have on it and how helpful they are. Outside of STAR, I love to travel and listen to music.

Specialty Leads

Finance Lead
Jingyuan Chen
Sophomore, Math/Statistics
Hey! I’m Jingyuan Chen, a second year mathematics student here at Cal, and I will be leading our finance unit this year! Finance works alongside our talented administrative and technical teams to ensure that we are able to sustainably fund our current and future projects! In the past I worked on our marketing, fundraising, and glider payload project DAVE. Outside of STAR I help organize Berkeley Math Tournament, volunteer at the Open Computing Facility, and develop film!
Media Lead
Justin Gonzalez
Senior, Applied Math
Hey! I'm Justin Gonzalez a 4th year applied Math Major and the Media Lead for this year. Last year I was also a member of the Airframe team working on the IREC project which we saw fly out in New Mexico over the summer. Since joining STAR I have met many wonderful people that have come to support me which has made joining STAR one of the best decisions I've ever made in college.
Outreach Lead
Elaina Bosshardt
Senior, Engineering Physics
Hey, I'm Elaina! I'm a senior studying engineering physics and the current Outreach Lead for STAR. Outside of school, I love volleyball, sci-fi movies, the beach, and exploring The Bay.
Systems Lead
Jonah Henry
Senior, Engineering Physics
Hi! I've been in STAR for three years on our Recovery team, and over those years I've worked on our IREC 2021, Stage Separation, Minimum Diameter, and Stage Separation 2/IREC 2024 projects. I hope to work in the aerospace industry as a systems engineering once I graduate. In my free time I enjoy playing music and going on adventures to places like national parks. I also love learning and talking about history and random interesting facts and current events.
Airframe Lead
Zaafir Hasan
Junior, Mechanical Engineering/Data Science
Greetings. Over the past few years, I've worked on the IREC Airbrakes system and ALULA airframe. STAR has been an incredible journey, offering me the opportunity to explore a wide range of engineering disciplines, connect with amazing people, and create lifelong memories. I love rockets, gym, and juice. Give me juice.
Avionics Lead
Dulanya Cooray
Senior, Electrical Engineering/Computer Science
I joined STAR as a propulsion/avionics engineer on our custom liquid engine project (ALULA), and stayed for the cool rocket explosions and the even cooler people. STAR gave me a great community as well as a super supportive space to do hands-on work and become more confident in my work. This year, I'm excited to work on developing and diversifying our Avionics team! Outside of STAR, I like books, making strange earrings, and talking about my cat.
Payload Lead
Tristan Steen
Junior, Psychology
Hi! I'm Tristan, a third year psych major and the Payload lead for the 2023-24 school year. I have been on STAR since I came to Berkeley my freshman year. This year I can't wait to lead our payload team to a successful competition launch!
Propulsion Lead
Eduardo Godinez Diaz
Junior, Mechanical Engineering
I joined STAR my sophomore year as a part of the propulsion team on ALULA, our bi-propellant liquid rocket. I focused mostly on work relating to the thruster but really just had a good time working on cool stuff for the rocket. Hope to take propulsion further this year on work on even cooler stuff.
Recovery Lead
Salvador Bravo
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
I'm a Senior studying Mechanical Engineering hailing from the Sunny San Diego. I like to think of myself as an overachiever with unlimited gas in the tank. I'm very family-centric and love being a genuine person. I'm very excited to lead recovery this year, a very important part of rocketry, my biggest hobby and interest aside from cars. Let's watch those rockets launch and more importantly, return in tip-top condition!!

Project Managers

SSEP2 Project Manager
Shadi Hassani
Junior, Mechanical Engineering
I'm a third-year mechanical engineer and am really interested in design and space exploration! I joined STAR to bring these two passions together and as a project manager for the 23-24 year. I hope to create memorable experiences for all members involved. I'm also in charge of the scholarship fund which provides scholarships to high school girls pursuing a career in STEM in the bay area. As a first-generation Latina in STEM, providing these kinds of opportunities to other girls is something I am very passionate about, and am excited to be a part of it.
ALULA Project Manager
Liam McHugh
Senior, Mechanical Engineering
After working as Propulsion Lead this past year, I've stepped up to manage the ALULA project, our liquid-powered competition rocket. Through STAR and my academic/professional work, I've developed a knowledge base in technical design/analysis of thermofluid and chemical energy systems as well as in team management. Outside of my technical passions, I love backpacking/hiking, climbing, mountain biking, and pallin' around with the homies.