Ujjwal Raut

Group Lead, Lab Studies Group
UTSA Adjoint Professor

Dr. Raut is an experimental physicist and planetary scientist whose research addresses fundamental questions that emerge following detection of molecules in extraterrestrial environments by observational efforts. Within CLASSE, Dr. Raut creates laboratory-scale replicas of the extraterrestrial environments and conducts experiments with cosmic analogs (ices, minerals) to elucidate the nature, origin, and evolution of icy surfaces ubiquitous in the outer Solar System and beyond.

(210) 522-2178

Kurt Retherford

Staff Scientist
UTSA Adjoint Professor

Dr. Retherford is a planetary scientist specializing in the use of space-based UV observations to study planetary atmospheres and surfaces. His research interests include the aurorae and airglow of the Galilean satellites, Jupiter, the Moon, Mars, and Pluto.

(210) 522-3809

Benjamin D. Teolis

Principal Scientist
UTSA Adjoint Professor

Dr. Teolis is a physicist, experimentalist and planetary scientist whose expertise include the formation and evolution of planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres, and the chemical and radiation processing of the surfaces of icy bodies in the outer solar system.

(210) 522-5975

Michael Poston

Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Poston is a planetary surface chemist. His areas of focus include 1) surface properties and habitability of Ocean Worlds; 2) present-day solar system volatiles, thermal and non-thermal processes, surface-bound exospheres, and atmospheric processes; 3) In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and power generation; and 4) flight instrumentation and mission formulation.

(210) 522-6353

Bereket Mamo

Graduate Student

Bereket Mamo is a graduate student in the joint UTSA-SwRI Space Physics program. His research focuses on understanding far ultraviolet reflectance of the surface of Europa and the Moon leveraging laboratory experiments, observations and modeling.

(210) 522-6216

Caleb Gimar

Graduate Student

Caleb Gimar is currently a graduate student in the joint UTSA-SwRI Space Physics program. His research contributions within CLASSE focus on far-ultraviolet reflectance studies of lunar simulants and soils and the optical properties of radiation-processed methane relevant to Charon.

(210) 522-5767

Ashley Reisig

Research Engineer

Ashley is a mechanical engineer with SwRI Space Science and Engineering Division. Her role in CLASSE includes – tracking CAD model progression, design, assembly and install of hardware subsystems.

(210) 522-4616

Brandon Perez


Mr. Brandon Perez is a mechanical engineer at SwRI that contributes to CLASSE projects with hardware design and assembly of ultra-high vacuum components.

(210) 522-6742

Jephthah O Akene

Research Engineer

Mr. Akene is a Mechanical Engineer with the Space Science Division at Southwest Research Institute. He supports CLASSE projects in software development focused towards hardware control and data acquisition.

(210) 522-3671

Andrew Renzetti


Mr. Renzetti is a mechanical engineer aiding in the design and implementation of laboratory hardware and subsystems such as sample holders and drive and motion control mechanisms.

(210) 522-6776

Joshua Brody

Principal Technician

(210) 522-2478

Jacob Friday


(210) 522-5985

Jacob Grimes

Sr. Research Scientist

(210) 522-6475

Edward L. Patrick

Sr. Research Scientist

Mr. Patrick is a physicist specializing in the design, assembly, and operation of laboratory systems for space environment simulation. His research interests include the chemistry of the interstellar medium (ISM), Titan’s atmosphere, cave atmospheres, and volatiles at the lunar surface.

(210) 522-5398

Dave Cronk

Sr. Engr. Technologist

Mr. Cronk contributed greatly to the build and test phases of the UVS instrument now onboard the JUNO spacecraft orbiting Jupiter and is now the lead technician for the CUSP CubeSat. He is NASA certified in soldering, staking and cable harnessing. Mr. Cronk also has space flight hardware experience from his previous employment with Los Alamos National Lab that includes working on both the IBEX and DAWN programs.

(210) 522-3642

Preston Karnes

Research Affiliate


Research Gate
ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators.

Google Scholar
Google Scholar helps you find relevant work across the world of scholarly research.

ADS, or SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS), is a digital library portal for researchers in astronomy and physics.

ORCID is a nonprofit organization helping create a world in which all who participate in research, scholarship and innovation are uniquely identified and connected to their contributions and affiliations, across disciplines, borders, and time.