Chris graduated in 2013 from North Dakota State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He then enrolled in the Space Studies program as a campus student, working with Dr. Pablo deLeon. During the summer of 2014 he had an internship with Honeybee Robotics in Pasadena, CA where he helped design and assemble complex mechanical systems for both commercial use and NASA proposals.
While on campus, Chris was a mission control operator for the 30-day analog mission in the fall of 2014 and has been the graduate student lead for the High Altitude Ballooning program since the summer of 2015. During this time as student lead, he has created a new portable ground station system for tracking the balloons (which routinely soar above 100,000 feet) that features inexpensive radios and open source software. Chris is currently working with Dr. deLeon to manufacture a robotic rover that will become part of the analog habitat infrastructure at UND. This rover is designed to assist the analog astronauts during their EVAs and to make the overall experience easier on the crew. This rover will be an integral part of his thesis, which will study the effectiveness of a planetary communication architecture that features a rover-based audio and video repeater.