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Please select an AFRL mentor from the left to view their professional biography and photograph. Scholars are encouraged to contact mentors using the link included within each biography. Contact links are included only for those mentors who are willing to be contacted during the application period.


If you are interested in applying to projects under a specific mentor, please go to Research Topics and use the available 'Keyword Search' filter to learn about his/her projects.

Michael Nayak

Dr. Michael Nayak is a staff scientist at the Maui High Performance Computing Center. He is also a Captain in the US Air Force, was a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, and has previously worked for NASA at the Kennedy, Goddard and Ames Centers. 

Ph.D.  Earth and Planetary Science
M.Sc.  Earth Science
M.Eng. Aerospace Engineering (Aeronautics & Propulsion)
B.Sc.  Aerospace Engineering (Astronautics)

Dr. Nayak has authored over 35 journal and conference papers in research areas spanning Aerospace Engineering, Planetary Science, Astrophysics, Space Mission Design, Guidance Navigation and Control, Geophysics and Space Policy. Further details on his ongoing research may be found at A partial list of his publications is on Google Scholar:

"I am looking for highly motivated Masters and Ph.D students to work on short-timescale, large-impact publishable science. I encourage every applicant to feel free to contact me if you are considering applying to my topic! My research portfolio is fairly diverse, so any topic can be adjusted to suit a student's interests or previous research/thesis background. I am dedicated to a student experience that is collaborative, productive and of mutual interest; my goal will be to advance our project from concept to publication in 12 weeks."