UC Davis Center for


Integration and Performance

Josh Day

B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, UC Davis, 2013

During and after his undergraduate career, Josh spent considerable time working in manufacturing and small-business environments. His experience led him to a startup consulting company in Vacaville, CA where he designed storage and organizational solutions for large-scale pharmaceutical manufacturers. His work emphasized lean manufacturing and 5S methodology, and the products he designed are currently used by Janssen Pharmaceuticals and BD Biosciences. Prior to this, Josh worked at a small company in Davis where he designed, tested, and validated Hydrogen storage solutions for fuel cells. This work allowed him to transition to undergraduate research where, for a short time, he worked with Prof. Jae-Wan Park to develop methods for measuring electrical output across the surface of PEM fuel cells.

However, Josh's true passion is for space exploration and astronomy, and if he had it his way, he would stay in school forever. His current research is on fault-tolerant cold gas propulsion systems for small satellites to be used for visually inspecting spacecraft, and he intends to pursue further education to study cutting-edge propulsion methods for manned space exploration. Outside of engineering, he is an avid musician, outdoorsman, and gearhead, and he is not ashamed to admit that he loves playing with Nerf guns.

In 2017, Josh spent 7 months as a co-op intern at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory working on the next Mars rover - Mars 2020. He supported the Motion Control Subsystem team testing motors and actuators to be used on the rover, and by programming data visualization tools for use in analyzing motor performance data. Additionally, he contributed some preliminary design ideas for the proposed follow-up Mars Sample Return mission. As of Summer 2018, he spent another ten weeks working on the Bit Carousel mechanism for the Mars 2020 rover. His time was spent designing, manufacturing, and setting up test equipment for the Bit Carousel, as well as writing procedures and coordinating assembly of hardware that will fly with the rover.