Michael Lembeck

Michael Lembeck
Michael Lembeck
Clinical Associate Professor
(217) 300-8009
211 Talbot Laboratory
Associate Professor of Practice
(217) 300-8009
211 Talbot Laboratory

For More Information


Michael F. Lembeck (B.S. '80, M.S. '81, Ph.D., '91 UIUC) is a Clinical Associate Professor in Aerospace Engineering. Dr. Lembeck has led or worked on multiple government and commercial spaceflight programs, including JPL's Galileo Jupiter Orbiter, Space Industries, Inc.'s Wake Shield Facility, Orbital Sciences' OrbView/Warfighter commercial remote sensing programs, and the Northrop/Boeing CEV and Boeing commercial crew programs.

As the Requirements Division Director for the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Dr. Lembeck participated in the formulation of President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration and managed the original development of requirements for the Constellation/Orion program. Dr. Lembeck is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and the Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Space Systems at Illinois (LASSI).

Student Organizations

  • Illinois Space Society NASA Micro-G Next Program Advisor

Design Teams

  • NASA RASC-AL Project Team Co-advisor

Research Interests

  • Applications of machine learning to space exploration systems problems
  • Low cost, high performance CubeSat systems development

Research Areas

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Naldoza, V.G, Power, L., Bahlous-Boldi. A., Zosky, M., Lembeck, M. Walsh, B., " Measuring Solar Irradiance Variability with GISSMO," AGU Fall Meeting, December 12-16, 2022.
  • Auster, A., Bojinov, B., Kesarwani, S., Sieck, G., Shah, R., Odeen, M., McCarthy, S., Frankenthor, M., Patel, K., Davis, G., Samhouri, F., Lim, E., Dayal, G., Lauer, B., Arostegui, A., Bansal, I., Wang, A., Kosiarz, J., Mihevc, Z., Raju, A., Moy, K., Porwal, A., Kulcsar, A., Palmowski, J., Lembeck, M., Putnam, Z., and Hou, L., "Mars Ice Thermal Harvesting Rig & ISRU Laboratory (MITHRIL)," AIAA ASCEND 2022, Las Vegas, NV, Oct 24-26, 2022.
  • Dimon, W., Van Stralen, N., Nigam, R., Chase, N., Tran, H., Lembeck, M., "D-AnoGAN: Anomaly Detection in Disconnected Data Manifolds with Generative Adversarial Networks," IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence, Padua, Italy, July 18-23, 2022.
  • Chow,N., Pulley, L., Lembeck, M.,"Lessons learned from development of web-based mission operations software," 35h AIAA Small Satellite Conference, August 7-12, 2021.
  • Sella, V., Majumder, A., Rao, A., Larkey, A., Rasmont, M., Lembeck, M., "N2O/Paraffin Hybrid Rocket Engine: A Comparison of N2 and O2 as Pressurants," AIAA Propulsion and Energy, Aug. 24-26, 2020.
  • Sella, V., Majumder, A., Larkey, A., Rao, A., Moore, A., Rasmont, M., Lembeck, M., "Development of a Nytrox-Paraffin Hybrid Rocket Engine," AIAA Propulsion and Energy, Aug. 24-26, 2020.
  • Carroll, K., Essmyer, Z., Gable, D., Henricks, N., Herman, J., Hunt, H., Makadia, R., Murdoch, S., Patel, K., Petrov, G., Robbins, D., Taylor, E., Lembeck, M. "Micrometeoroid Impact Detection and Suppression for ISS EVAs" IAC-2019, Washington, D.C., Oct 23, 2019.
  • Reiley, K., Burghardt, M., Wood, M., Ingham, J., and Lembeck, M.F. “Preliminary Design of the Boeing Commercial Crew Transportation System.” AIAA Space 2012, Pasadena, CA., Sept 11-Sep 13, 2012.
  • Reiley, K., Burghardt, M., Wood, M., Ingham, J., and Lembeck, M.F. “Design Considerations for a Commercial Crew Transportation System.” AIAA Space 2011, Long Beach, CA., Sept 27-Sep 29, 2011.
  • Reiley, K., Burghardt, M., Ingham, J., and Lembeck, M.F. “CST-100 Commercial Space Transportation System.” AIAA Space 2010, Anaheim, CA., Aug 30-Sep 2, 2010.
  • Haughey, B. and Lembeck, M.F. ”Defining Affordable Remote Sensing Systems.” IAF Specialists Symposium on Novel Concepts for Smaller, Faster, & Better Space Missions, Redondo Beach, CA, April 19-21, 1999.
  • Lembeck, M.F. "Fuzzy Logic Control of the Commercial Refrigeration/Incubation Module (CRIM)." AIAA Computers in Aerospace IX, AIAA#93-4613, San Diego, CA, October 19-21,1993.

Abstracts (in print or accepted)

  • Alpine, E., Lembeck, M., "Thermal Risk Mitigation Testing for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory’s DarkNESS CubeSat," 37th Annual Small Satellite Conference, Logan, UT, Aug 5-10, 2023.
  • Zhao, H., Lembeck, M., "A Convolutional Neural Network-based Star Detection and Centroiding Algorithm for Star Tracker Image Processing," 37th Annual Small Satellite Conference, Logan, UT, Aug 5-10, 2023.
  • Lembeck, M., Graves, R., Heimerdinger, D., Snow, M., Rossi De La Fuente, R., Reali, P., "Detection, Characterization, and Evaluation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena," AIAA Aviation 2023, San Diego, CA, June 2023.

Refereed Conference Papers and Presentations

  • Kelsey Ortiz, Michael Lembeck, Thomas Jennewein, Alexander Ling, Phil Battle, Paul Kwiat, Makan Mohageg, "SEAQUE: Satellite Entanglement and Annealing Quantum Experiment ," 11th Annual International Space Station Research and Development Conference (ISSRDC), Wash, DC, July 25-28, 2022.
  • Nigar Sultana, Thomas Jennewein, Paul Kwiat, Joanna Krynski, Logan Power, Michael Lembeck, Jin Gyu Lim, Vadim Makarov, “CubeSat single-photon detector module for performing in-orbit laser annealing to heal radiation damage,“ 36th Annual Small Satellite Conference, Logan, UT, Aug 6-11, 2022.

Magazine Articles

  • Lembeck, M.F. “Why Space Exploration is Important to the United States.” adAstra OnLine, The Magazine of the National Space Society, June 15, 2006.

Professional Societies

  • Co-chair, AIAA Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Integration and Outreach Committee, 2023


  • NASA Group Achievement Award for Galileo Orbiter Design, Development, and Test (1991)
  • National Space Society’s Ad Astra magazine Top 25 “Rising Stars in Space.” (1994)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering Department Outstanding Recent Alumnus (1995)
  • NASA Medal for Exceptional Engineering Achievement (2005)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Aerospace Department Distinguished Alumnus Award (2018)

Recent Courses Taught

  • AE 199 SAT - Intro to CubeSat Development
  • AE 442 S1 (AE 442 S2) - Aerospace Systems Design I
  • AE 443 S1 - Aerospace Systems Design II
  • AE 498 IHS (AE 498 SDI) - Spacecraft Design Integration
  • ENG 491 CU1 - Nanosatellite Design Build 1