Meet The Team
Luke FlynnDirector, Hawai`i Space Flight Laboratory
Frances ZhuDeputy Director of HSGC
Miguel NunesDeputy Director of HSFL
Trevor SorensenProject Manager, Specialist
Eric PilgerSystems Engineer
Lance YoneshigeIntegration and Launch Specialist Mechanical Engineer
Yosef Ben GershomProject Engineer
Amber Imai-HongAvionics Engineer and Program Director for 101 CubeSats
Luke ClementsSoftware Engineer
Gabriel GuerreroAvionics Technician
Kaitlyn MatsunagaSystems Engineer
Piper KlineLead ADCS Engineer
Michael MoriLab Manager and Outreach Specialist
Dr. Luke Flynn is the Director of the Hawaii Space Flight Lab (HSFL) and Director of the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium (HSGC). Luke is a Tenured Specialist Faculty at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) and he co-founded HSFL in 2007. Luke works on the management and development of small satellites and the Super Strypi rocket, which was first launched in 2015 from the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai. He received his B.A in Physics from Cornell University and his PhD in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii.
Frances Zhu earned her B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca in 2014 and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering at Cornell in 2019. Dr. Zhu was a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow. Since 2020, she has been an assistant research professor with the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology at University of Hawaii, specializing in machine learning, dynamics, systems, and controls engineering. She is also the deputy director for the Hawaii Space Grant Consortium and graduate cooperating faculty with the following departments: mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and earth science.
Miguel Nunes received his Aerospace Engineering Degree form the Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, and worked on his Masters and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His research is focused on small satellites technology with special focus on Multi-Agent Robotic Systems and Guidance, Navigation and Control. Miguel is the main leads for the research and development of the Satellite Testing Facility and one of the lead software developers for the Comprehensive Open-architecture Solution for Mission Operations System (COSMOS).
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Dr. Sorensen received his BS. (1973), M.S. (1976) and Doctor of Engineering (1979) degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas (KU). In 2007 he joined the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a specialist professor and project manager in the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory. In December, 2014 Dr. Sorensen started a technology spin-off company from the University of Hawaii called Interstel Technologies, Inc. This company is developing and marketing a program for comprehensive mission operations called COSMOS that was developed at HSFL under a NASA contract. He became tenured faculty in 2012.
Lance Yoneshige joined the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory in 2008 after receiving his Bachelors and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His work with HSFL has spanned spacecraft design, fabrication, integration and testing with the HiakaSat and NEUTRON-1 Missions to launcher operations and support for the ORS-4 Launch. He continues to work with spacecraft development on HyTI as well as provide mechanical engineering support for other ongoing projects.
Yosef Ben Gershom
Yosef received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2017. He worked with HSFL for his Senior Design Capstone Project and was hired as an engineer after graduation. Yosef supported the integration and testing for the Neutron-1 3U CubeSat development, and performs project management for the HyTI 6U CubeSat. He received an EBMA from the Shilder College of Business at UH Mānoa in 2022, and is currently a project engineer for HSFL.
Amber Imai-Hong has been working for the Hawai`i Space Flight Laboratory as an Avionics Engineer and Outreach Specialist since 2012, and was a student assistant since 2008. While earning her Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Amber was involved with a student-based SmallSat group for 3.5 years doing research and development with microprocessors and power distribution, as well as the team’s Assistant Project Manager for the NanoSat-6 Project Ho`oponopono. She joined the HSFL avionics team during her last semester as an undergraduate, and focused on designing, fabricating, and testing the payload interface for the HiakaSat mission. Amber’s primary roles include electronic design, environmental testing, and STEM Outreach.
Luke was born and raised in Redding, California, and graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in information systems. Since joining HSFL, Luke has served as the lead software engineer for the Artemis Cubesat Kit and is responsible for overseeing the progress of the satellite’s flight software.
Kaitlyn received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2022. She started volunteering with HSFL her senior year of college and was hired as an engineer after graduation. She currently works with the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem for the HyTI satellite as well as assists with HyTI Mission Operations.
Piper received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in 2022. She started volunteering with HSFL her senior year of college and was hired as an engineer after graduation. She currently works with the Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem for the HyTI satellite as well as assists with HyTI Mission Operations.
Michael Mori received their Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Spring of 2022. Their experience is with managing and starting the first rover team on UHM campus as the project manager under the guidance of Dr. Frances Zhu. Their primary goal was to bring scientists, engineers, and business students together to fulfill a common goal. Their secondary goal was to advertise the aerospace field to the Hawaiian island as well as show off UHM’s competitiveness on the world stage. At HSFL Michael will be continuing their goal of outreach and bring notice to the aerospace opportunities available in Hawai’i for the future generations.