Michael Lembeck

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

For More Information


  • Ph. D. Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1991
  • M. S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1981
  • B. S. Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1981


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, co-Chair of the AIAA UAP IOC, and the Director of the Laboratory for Advanced Space Systems at Illinois (LASSI).

Other Professional Employment

  • President, CEPStone, LLC. 2016 - Present
  • Corporate Lead Executive, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Space Exploration Systems Houston Operations 2005 - 2008
  • Director, NASA Headquarters, Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Requirements Division 2003 - 2005
  • Vice President, Orbital Sciences Corporation 1997 - 2002

Other Professional Activities

  • AIAA Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Integration and Outreach Committee Co-Chair, 11/22-present.

Student Organizations

  • Illinois Space Society NASA Micro-G Next Program Advisor

Research Interests

  • Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Detection, Characterization, and Evaluation
  • Remote Sensing Satellites
  • Space Systems Engineering
  • Low cost, high performance CubeSat systems development

Research Areas

Selected Articles in Journals

  • Velinsky, S.A. and Lembeck, M.F. "Design of Wire Rope Based Mechanical Systems in an Expert System Environment." Engineering with Computers, 6, 1990.
  • Butler, P.B., Lembeck, M.F., and Krier, H.K. "Modelling of Shock Development and Transition to Detonation Initiated by Burning in Porous Propellant Beds." Combustion and Flame, Vol 46-1, April 1982.

Articles in Conference Proceedings

  • Young, C., Alpine, P., Lembeck, M., Estrada, J., "Preliminary Design of the DarkNESS Observatory for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory", 37th Small Satellite Conference, Utah State University, Aug. 5-10, 2023.
  • 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.
  • Sultana, N, Krynski, j., Lim, J., Floyd, J., Power, L., Lembeck, M., Makarov, V., Kwiat, P., Jennewein, T., “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
  • 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.
  • Zhao, H., Lembeck, M., "Development of a Low-Cost Multi-Camera Star Tracker for Small Satellites," 34th Annual Small Satellite Conference, Aug 1-6, 2020.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Lembeck, M.F. and Pignatano, N.D. "Galileo Attitude and Articulation Control Closed Loop Test System." AIAA Computers in Aerospace IV, AIAA#83- 2380, Hartford, CN, October 1983.

Refereed Conference Papers and Presentations

  • Srivastava, S., Cornwall, S., Zosky, M., Garcia, D., Lembeck, M., and Eggl, S., "The Impact of Satellite Constellations on Solar System Science with LSST," 2023 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Big Sky MT, Aug 2023.
  • Lembeck, M., Graves, R., Heimerdinger, D., Snow, M., Reali, P., "Detection, Characterization, and Evaluation of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena," AIAA Aviation 2023, San Diego, CA, June 2023.
  • 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.

Pending Articles

  • Bleier, J., Eason, R., Lembeck, M., Kumar, R., "Architecting Space Microdatacenters: A System-level Approach," 51st IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA 2024).

Magazine Articles

Professional Societies

  • Co-chair, AIAA Unidentified Anomalous Phenomena Integration and Outreach Committee, 2023-2024

Research Honors

  • Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research (2022)

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 - Intro to Human Spaceflight
  • AE 498 SDI - Spacecraft Design Integration
  • ENG 491 CU1 - Cubesat 1
  • ENG 491 CU1 - Nanosatellite Design Build 1