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Sandy Antunes

Associate Professor, Astronautical Engineering


  • BS in Astronomy & Physics from Boston University
  • MS in Astronomy from Pennsylvania State University
  • PhD in Computational Astrophysics from George Mason University

Currently Teaching:

  • Engineering Physics
  • Orbital Mechanics I
  • Scripting
  • Spacecraft Sensors
  • Satellite Ground Systems Operations
  • Astronomy

Teaching at Capitol since: 2011

Why did you first become a professor?

The opportunity was there and I grabbed it.  I also like to feel I'm making a difference in crafting the future, and the best role for me to do that right now is teaching.

What is your favorite part about teaching?

I like that teaching isn't static or repetitive.  Every year is new. And, teaching is evolving – we're no longer lecturer/content creators as we are remixers and DJs tweaking the mix of overwhelming information so our students get maximum yield from it.

Why Capitol? What makes it different?

Capitol is focused on academics and engineering, nimble in its curricula, career-oriented, and pro-space.  I also like small class sizes and students who are smarter than me.

How has your career before teaching affected your teaching career?

You have to work in the industry, be an expert, and live the world your students will be entering before you can teach them that world.  I've done industry, research, operations, authoring, business, game design, outreach; all of it infuses where my teaching comes from.

What are some of your proudest academic and professional accomplishments?

Professionally, getting to work at ISAS in Japan for over 2 years was awesome.  Academically, getting a full-time professorship is a big accomplishment.  I like that I've gotten to work with 6 different NASA satellites. I'm pleased my picosat work has inspired other satellite builders.

What are some of your hobbies or interests outside of work? What is something your students might not know about you?

My main hobbies are rock climbing and reading, but not at the same time.  Due to the internet, my students could know everything about me, but most don't realize that yet.