Momentum - February 2021 - 22



SINCE JUNE OF 2019, PHIL KELNER has been working for a satellite
manufacturer in Seattle, Wash., called LeoStella. There, he is responsible for
writing software used to test new versions of flight software that LeoStella
develops both for new satellites and ones already in low Earth orbit. He is
also responsible for writing and managing an array of software utilities used
to deploy and manage an array of virtual and physical emulators of the
company's satellites.
Currently, he's developing a single unified environment for the company's
satellite emulator, allowing for quickly deployable and executable mission
" I'm excited to deliver this emulator to our customers and start working
with them and to continue to increase the emulator's fidelity and usability, "
Kelner told MOMENTUM. " It feels like one of the more impactful parts of my
job, in that my contribution is not directed to any single end-product, but to
the quality of life of my colleagues and customers, and the quality of all of
the satellites and software to which I've contributed. "
Kelner graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in May of 2018
with a B.S. in electrical engineering.
Read on to learn more about him.
Why did you decide to become an engineer?
I grew up around a whole family of engineers, so it was definitely somewhat
hereditary. Being around so many technical people fostered in me an
appreciation and fascination for all sorts of scientific and technical pursuits.
To keep developing that fascination, I got to play with things like Lego
Mindstorms growing up. I used to kill so much time just building up robots
with Lego to drive around, sensing walls or ledges and doing simple tasks
around the house. Just being able to build and program things that can
interact with the physical world on their own, without needing my input, was

Phil Kelner looking up and taking in the view inside the
Hoover Dam during a roadtrip back to Rochester after he
finished an internship in Los Angeles.
so fascinating to me, and I always wondered what
kinds of robots and machines could be made to
do things for people.
To what character traits do you attribute your
success to date?
In a roundabout way, laziness! Bill Gates has
famously said he'd hire a lazy person to do a hard
job because the lazy person will find an easy way
to do it. My own boredom when engaging in
repetitive tasks usually manifests into projects
that I pursue to make sure I never have to do that
repetitive task and be bored again. Being curious
about how things worked always kept me
motivated to learn more, expand my abilities, and
developed me into a jack of many trades. I feel I
have a broad knowledge of many things, so I tend
to be able to see a problem from many angles,
and I'm always eager to learn a new skill or
technology that I need to accomplish a task, to
automate something for someone.
Of what accomplishment are you most proud?

Standing with F26, RIT FSAE's 2018 combustion car during a testing phase in early April
2018. " This was just a few short and sleepless days before F26 first drove on its own power. "

22 February 2021

I'm proud to have been a member of the first
couple years of RIT's Formula SAE team that
designed and constructed a functional and
competitive electric car for the first time. The
team had a long heritage even before I joined,



Momentum - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - February 2021

Momentum - February 2021 - Cover1
Momentum - February 2021 - Cover2
Momentum - February 2021 - 1
Momentum - February 2021 - 2
Momentum - February 2021 - 3
Momentum - February 2021 - 4
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