|MIT Department: Aeronautics and Astronautics
Undergraduate Institution: Florida Institute of Technology
Faculty Mentor: Taylor Perron
Research Supervisor: Samuel Goldberg, Morgan Schmidt
My name is Luiz Fernando Leal, I am from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I am a Junior studying Aerospace Engineering with a minor in Computational Mathematics at Florida Institute of Technology, near Cape Canaveral. I’m working on the ICEDROP Project, which is developing a method to measure the amount of extracted liquid water at one of the perpetually shaded craters at the south pole of the moon. This work will help to pave the way for the development of scalable ISRU technologies and support NASA’s goal to return to the moon. As a future researcher, I want to pursue a Ph.D. and develop technologies that will enable humanity to explore the space, the moon, and Mars sustainably. Apart from academics, I enjoy expressing myself through Parkour/Gymnastics, photography, reading, scuba diving, going to the beach to watch rocket launches/landings, and hiking with friends. My bucket list consists of getting a private pilot’s license, sky diving, starting a family, backpacking through all types of terrains and climates, and creating a scholarship program to help low-income students to pursue high-impacting studies.