Benjamin Reifler

Hometown: Hamden, CT

“I was especially impressed by my conversations with Dr. Crassidis and some students from the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory, which seemed like an incredible undergraduate research opportunity.”
Benjamin Reifler
Aerospace Engineering

Why did you choose to attend UB?

Initially for financial reasons—I received a scholarship offer that I would have been silly to pass up—but I didn't make my official decision until I came and visited UB. I was especially impressed by my conversations with Dr. Crassidis and some students from the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory, which seemed like an incredible undergraduate research opportunity.

Why did you decide to major in MAE?

When I was a kid, I would draw diagrams and schematics of futuristic machines, especially air- and spacecraft, so it was probably inevitable that I would end up in this department. I have been interested in space since I was little, and am generally excited to work on anything that gets off the ground.

What was your involvement outside the classroom?

I joined the UB Nanosatellite Laboratory at the beginning of my first year here, and have been an Attitude Determination and Control Co-Lead since the beginning of my sophomore year. I have also played alto saxophone in the UB Concert Band for all but one semester of my time at UB.

Were you involved in internships and/or undergraduate research?

I have been heavily involved in the UB Nanosatellite Lab, especially the Attitude Determination and Control (ADC) group, which has been very rewarding, both as an opportunity to learn concepts and skills years ahead of the average aerospace student, and as a chance to lead a group working on real space missions. I have also had two internships with the Air Force Research Laboratory's Guidance Navigation and Control Program, which were great experiences and inspired me to pursue a PhD in aerospace engineering.

Aside from engineering, what else are you passionate about?

I love to play music (alto sax and flamenco guitar) and learn about languages. I'm also excited about video games as an interactive medium, and have been working on a game engine in my spare time.

What are your plans after graduation?

I am currently applying to graduate school, and plan to pursue a PhD in aerospace engineering, so I can continue to do guidance, navigation and control research, hopefully with exciting space applications.