Student Leaders

Robert Benke

My name is Robert Benke, and I am a senior in Chemical Engineering. I have done internships with Denver Water and Erise IP, a patent law firm. Formerly, I served as the treasurer for the Colorado Beta Chapter. I really, really like everyone I have met and had the pleasure of working with in TBP, and there is fantastic potential for this organization, so I am incredibly excited to serve as president for the 2022-2023 school year. My goal is to make TBP more active on the CU Boulder campus by providing more opportunities for our members to engage with one another and develop meaningful relationships. When not wrestling with the monster known as an engineering degree, I enjoy songwriting, guitar practice, creative writing, reading, and exercise.

Henri Wessels
Vice President

Hello everyone! Henri here - I'm the ex President and Outreach Coordinator of TBP CO Beta and the current Vice President! I am currently a Senior aiming for a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. I’m not only deeply passionate about each of these topics individually, but how they interact to create a discipline that fosters innovation on the cutting edge of scientific discovery.

As a recent US citizen and a native of South Africa I have found a great appreciation of the outdoors and the beauty that it unconditionally provides. Outside of classes, I enjoy Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Road Tripping, Reading, and Space! With that in mind, I’m excited to be your Vice President for the upcoming academic year!

Will Steinfort

My name is Will Steinfort and I am a third-year student at CU, pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering Science with a minor in Computer Science. I was born and raised in Colorado and love to take advantage of the great outdoors. Some of my favorite activities are golfing, hiking, going to the gym, and most of all, skiing. Outside of school, I am on the CU Freeski team, which allows me access my competitive side by competing in club sports.

Additionally, I am an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Gupta in the CU LIFE lab. During the summer of 2022, Dr. Gupta was appointed as my advisor for the CU Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR), where I was tasked with exploring the capabilities of using Neural Networks to solve the multi-dimensional, non-linear partial differential equations that represent the charging dynamics of super-capacitors. I am now continuing my research part-time throughout the school year.

Abigail Hutabarat
Recording Secretary

My name is Abigail Hutabarat, I am a senior studying chemical engineering with a minor in creative technology design. I am currently doing undergraduate research with the Goodwin lab, and am also a course assistant for a computing class!

When I'm not working on that, I'm either dancing and performing with Elevation Kpop Dance Crew, learning how to mix vocals, or making videos. I also love taking pictures, and my phone is full of landscape, nature, and building photography.

Abulkalam Tanvir
Corresponding Secretary

Hello, there! I am Tan. I am a Junior majoring in AES with a minor in Global Engineering. Outside of school I like philosophy, photography, and running outdoor.

I like playing soccer, cooking, and watching Formula 1.

James Perkins
Events Director

Hello! I'm a senior in aerospace engineering with a minor in computer science, and I'm currently pursuing a master's in bioastronautics through the BAM program. This year, I'm working on a research project in the bioastro lab as well as continuing an internship at Atomos space as a systems and test engineer. I'm super passionate about human spaceflight, space medicine, and our future as an interplanetary species.

I’m from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, so I feel pretty at home here in another college town; it’s been a true pleasure getting to know the area and all it has to offer. When I’m not in class, I love to play music, do DIY projects, and spend time in the great outdoors. I used to be more involved with theater and orchestra, but there’s only so much time in the day! Nowadays, I spend more time taking walks, playing video and tabletop games with my friends, and hanging out with my cat.

Griffin Hayrynen
Community Service Coordinator

Hello, I am Griffin Hayrynen and I am a Junior studying Chemical and Biological Engineering with a minor in Biomedical Engineering. I enjoy going to the gym, hiking, skiing, and making memories with my closest friends. I have also become passionate about mental health advocacy and have recently spent time attempting to increase the resources CU students have to better their mental health.

Andrew Victory
Logistics Coordinator

I am Andrew Victory, the logistics coordinator for this year. This will be my second semester with TBP. I am a junior studying mechanical engineering with a minor in engineering management. During the school year, I work at the Idea Forge on campus. I have interned with the US Navy in Maryland and a construction contractor in Denver. I hope to integrate my studies with sustainability or renewable energy.

In my free time I enjoy exploring the outdoors through skiing, running, hiking, camping or backpacking. I also frequent the gym. These activities allow me to de-stress from the busyness of everyday life. Additionally, I enjoy reading, listening to music, attending sporting events, and socializing with friends.

Max Van Sickle
Professional Development Coordinator

My name is Max Van Sickle, I am the current Professional Development Coordinator of our chapter. I am a senior studying Computer Science and minoring in Physics and Quantum Engineering. I am planning on continuing my studies next year at CU as a BAM student. I love camping, hiking, drawing, basketball, and I play ultimate frisbee for the school as well.

Elena Smith
Promotional Officer

Hi everyone! My name is Elena Smith, and I'm the Promotional Officer for CU's Tau Beta Pi chapter. I'm currently a senior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Business. This past summer, I was a software engineering intern at Medtronic.

When I'm not in class, I enjoy reading, bouldering, digital art and design, photography, embroidery, and lately I've been getting into woodworking! I also have a kitten that I'm slowly teaching tricks such as giving high fives. This is my second year with Tau Beta Pi, and I'm so excited to be an officer this year!

Nick Barbattini
Student Engagement Coordinator

My name is Nick Barbattini and I’m a third year Aerospace major. Outside of school I like to listen to music, play soccer, rock climb, hike, and cook.


Sandy Pitzak
Chief Advisor

I am an aerospace engineer who has done design, analysis, and operations of civil & commercial, manned & unmanned spacecraft for various companies before starting my own independent subcontracting business. My experience includes space situational awareness, orbital mechanics, systems engineering, electrical power systems, and environmental control & life support systems. Currently, I am a Senior Spacecraft Engineer at Atomos Space in Denver, designing space tugboats.

As an undergraduate, I served first as corresponding secretary, then as president of the Colorado Beta chapter. Upon graduation with my BS/MS in aerospace engineering in May 2001, I was elected to the advisory board, and became chief advisor in 2003. Since then, I have helped Colorado Beta host Tau Beta Pi National Conventions in 2006 and 2018. In 2016, I received the national Outstanding Advisor Award from Tau Beta Pi. I am also a director of the Front Range Alumni Chapter, acting as liaison between the alumni and student chapters.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading and watching programs about science, science-fiction, and fantasy. I can often be found riding my bike around Boulder or hiking along the trails. Other hobbies include knitting, sewing, and personal finance. Feel free to contact me with questions about Tau Beta Pi, anything space-related, life after college, etc.

Dr. Donna Gerren
Faculty Advisor

Dr. Gerren graduated from the University of Colorado’s Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences with her B.S. in 1977 and her M.S. in 1979. She obtained an M.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and her Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Kansas, studying under legendary aircraft designer Dr. Jan Roskam.

She has experience as an intern at Lockheed Martin in Waterton, Colorado, as a Mass Properties Engineer, working on Titan missiles. She also served as an intern at Johnson Space Center in Houston as a technical journalist on the joint US/Soviet space mission, Apollo-Soyuz.

Her professional experience includes working at Douglas Aircraft Co. in Long Beach, California, DARCorporation in Lawrence, Kansas, and NASA Dryden (Armstrong) Flight Research Center at Edwards AFB, California, before being hired here in the department by Chair Dick Seebass.

Dr. Gerren has earned numerous teaching awards, including CU’s Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award in Education in 2002, awarded to less than 1% of CU engineering alumni. She also received a Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellowship in 2007, in time to see the first Dreamliner roll out of the Everett factory. Dr. Gerren is an Associate Fellow of AIAA and a Fellow of SAWE. She has a pilot’s license and is proud to have flown 80 parabolas on the KC-135 “Vomit Comet”, only tossing her cookies once.

Greg Newcomb
District Director & Chapter Advisor

I've worked at CU's Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) for nearly a decade as an Embedded Systems Engineer, which means I gets to combine three of my favorite hobbies: software, electronics, and space. My MS is in Electrical Engineering from CU Boulder.

I've acted as an advisor to the CU Boulder chapter since 2007 and before that served as the chapter President. I was appointed a TBP District Director in 2011, a post intended to facilitate communication between collegiate chapters and TBP HQ. My favorite parts of being involved with TBP are the frequent chapter visits, establishing relationships with chapter officers, and seeing officers grow into strong leaders.

Scott Busch
Chapter Advisor

I am an alumni of the Computer Science department of CU Boulder. I graduated from the BS/MS program at the end of 2009. Since graduating, I've has been working for Broadcom Limited (used to be Brocade Communications System) in Broomfield, Colorado. For Broadcom, I am a embedded software and linux kernel module developer working on the firmware running the network switches and routers.

Outside of a work, I dedicate a lot of time to my athletic pursuits as a endurance cyclist participating in many rides in the front range and Colorado mountains. In addition to cycling, I am starting to participate in triathlon racing. In the time remaining, I like reading, learning to play the piano, and getting together with friends.

I been an advisor for the Colorado Beta chapter since 2010. I am a past president of the CO-B chapter and currently is a member of the Front Range TBP Alumni chapter. I greatly enjoyed working with the students to support them for leading the chapter's membership. I enjoy watching the students grow and learn new skills and grow in their experiences.