Exploring New Frontiers: Zander Selleseth’s Summer at NASA JPL

Zander Selleseth ’25, an Electrical Engineering student at NC State, spent his summer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. As a visiting researcher in JPL’s Radar Concepts and Formulation Group, Selleseth explored cutting-edge projects, shaping his career aspirations with invaluable hands-on experience.

This summer, Zander Selleseth ’25, a dedicated Electrical Engineering student at NC State set his sights on the stars and beyond during an incredible internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA. As a visiting researcher in the Radar Concepts and Formulation Group, Selleseth immersed himself in groundbreaking projects and gained invaluable experience that has profoundly shaped his career aspirations.

Pioneering Projects at JPL

At JPL, Selleseth contributed to the development of circuits essential for novel atomic radar sensors and low-power/long-range RFID systems. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize remote sensing and communication, showcasing the cutting-edge innovation that JPL is known for. Selleseth’s hands-on work with RF/Microwave CAD tools such as HFSS, ADS, and AWR allowed him to delve deep into the technical aspects of these pioneering projects.

Adventures in Quantum Physics

Selleseth’s summer was marked by his exploration of the fascinating applications of quantum physics in remote sensing. His research and development efforts gave him a deeper understanding of how quantum principles can be harnessed for practical, real-world technologies. This knowledge not only broadened his technical skillset but also ignited a passion for further exploration in the field.

IMS Conference Highlights

One of the standout moments of Selleseth’s summer was attending the International Microwave Symposium (IMS) conference in Washington, DC. Here, he had the unique opportunity to assist Dr. David Ricketts, an ECE professor, with several innovative demonstrations, including a mesmerizing Musical Tesla Coil Duet. This experience underscored the importance of collaboration and the exciting intersection of engineering and creativity.

Inspiring Career Aspirations

Selleseth’s time at JPL has had a profound impact on his career goals. The dynamic environment and the thrill of working on aerospace technology have solidified his desire to pursue a career in the aerospace industry. “This experience has shown me that a career in the aerospace industry is a lot of fun and I would love to work at JPL someday,” Selleseth shared. Looking ahead, he aspires to design electronics and subsystems used in spacecraft for navigation, sensing, communication, controls and more, contributing to the future of long-term space exploration.

A Bright Future Ahead

Selleseth’s summer internship at NASA JPL exemplifies the incredible opportunities available to NC State Electrical and Computer Engineering students. His dedication, curiosity, and passion for innovation serve as a beacon of inspiration to his peers and a testament to the high caliber of our student community. We look forward to seeing Selleseth’s continued achievements.

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