Meet the Team





Photo of Team President Mikaila

President: Mikaila Risser

Mikaila is a senior in materials engineering with a minor in creative writing.  As a materials sub-team lead in the past, they have focused on carbon-fiber layup work for the development of competition rocket airframes.  Mikaila has interned at Constellium Rolled Products in Ravenswood, WV in the Casting group, working to optimize an electromagnetic stirrer for Aluminum production.  They have also interned at Relativity Space in Long Beach, California in the Materials Lab, focusing on additively manufactured metals for rocket production.  After graduation in Spring 2023, Mikaila aspires to find work in the aerospace industry and to further push humanity towards a permanent place in the stars. 



Picture of Vice President Yousuf

Vice President Operations Chief Safety Officer: Yousuf Al-Azzawi 

Yousuf is the vice president of Operations of SpaceLex. He is a sophomore year mechanical engineering student and helps with administrative duties as well as being our chief safety officer. He makes sure that our team can continue to work with the university, sponsors, and industry leaders to provide the best experience for members.  



Picture of Ryan Kodura

Vice President of Personnel/Outreach: Ryan Kodura 

Ryan is the Vice President of Personnel/Outreach for the team, in charge of team collaboration and advertising.  This includes running the teams various social media pages, on-campus events, and team bonding activities.  Ryan also helped developed the airframe design for Meridian and has worked extensively on Lookout.  He has run the electrical team in the past, and is working with members to create the newest flight computer system for the team's rockets.  He is a sophomore studying civil engineering.











Mechanical Lead: Kylie Schmidt   

Kylie is the Mechanical Lead for SpaceLex.  She is a Mechanical Engineering major, and currently interning at the Lexington-based company SpaceTango.










Propulsion Lead: Christian Lauritzen   

Christian is the Propulsion lead for SpaceLex.  He is a mechanical engineering major at UK.

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Electrical Lead: Paul Breeding   


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Materials Lead: Cayenne Warren 

Cayenne is a freshman in Aerospace Engineering.  While new to the University of Kentucky, she attended the Craft Academy for Excellence in Science and Mathematics at Morehead State University. She has completed research with Morehead State University in environmental testing and data analysis for Lunar Ice Cube, a cube satellite to be launched on Artemis I.  She also was involved in the ExoLab 8 control experiment on root nodulation in microgravity that she and her team presented at the 2021 International Space Station Research and Development Conference.  Her goals are to work in Extravehicular Operations (EVA) upon finishing her undergraduate degree.


A black and white clipart image of a planetary rover

Payload Lead: Lucas Stevenson

Lucas is a sophomore pursuing a dual degree in Aerospace Engineering and Mathematics with a minor in Physics. As a member of the team, he designed and constructed a rocket for L1 certification. He also partook in the design process for Meridian and will lead the design of its payload. Lucas has interned at Rev-A-Shelf, constructing customer drawings for new and existing products and making corrections to dimensional data. After graduation, he hopes to find work in the Aerospace industry.




Interested in joining SpaceLex?

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