Matthew Bourassa

Matthew Bourassa

Matthew Bourassa graduated from the University of Alberta in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. After taking a year off from his studies to relax and backpack through Europe, Matthew was admitted into the Master’s of Applied Science program in Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University in September 2009.

In the summer of 2010, Matthew began working on his research to investigate the perturbing effects of atmospheric drag on satellites with highly eccentric orbits (Molniya orbits) for the proposed Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) mission lead by the Canadian Space Agency. Not long after, it was observed that the gravitational force from the Moon and Sun cause much higher perturbations on Molniya orbits then drag, so his research was re-focused to examine the luni-solar effects on highly eccentric orbits. By the end of the summer, it was realized that this project was quite vast and could be expanded into a PhD thesis. It was then decided that Matthew would skip his Master’s degree and fast-track directly into the PhD program.

Matthew is supervised by Dr. Fred Afagh, Dr. Rob Langlois, and Prof. Bruce Burlton. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys reading, watching TV, and playing various sports including squash, soccer, skiing, and wakeboarding.