Brown’s Marella named to fellowship program for space industry leaders

Brown Engineering’s Daniel Marella has been chosen as one of 31 undergraduate and graduate students in the 2024 class of the Matthew Isakowitz Fellowship program. This fellowship program connects exceptional individuals with internships, mentors, and a network in the commercial spaceflight sector. Marella will intern with Lynk Global, Inc., the world’s leading satellite-direct-to-standard-phone (‘sat2phone’) telecoms provider. 

Now in its seventh year and totaling 200 current alumni fellows, the fellowship program awards exceptional college juniors, seniors, and graduate students pursuing aerospace careers with paid internships at cutting-edge commercial space companies. Fellows also receive one-on-one mentorship from accomplished members of the space community, including astronauts, engineers, entrepreneurs, executives, investors, and others. The program features a summit meeting to learn about space start-ups, network with top industry leaders, and develop entrepreneurial skills.

The 2024 class included applications from approximately 250 students from 90 colleges, screened for academic excellence, relevant experience, and a demonstrated passion for innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercial space. Enthusiasm for the fellowship comes at an exciting time in commercial space, as an unprecedented number of new companies are transforming the space program. 

Marella is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Brown, completing concurrent bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics. As the Project Manager and Structures Lead of Brown Space Engineering, Marella leads a team of passionate students committed to making space accessible by designing, building, and testing a 3U CubeSat that will launch into space with NASA. He is also a subsystem lead on Brown Formula Racing, as he has a passion for solving complex mechanical and structural problems. By combining his love for space exploration and desire to solve intricate engineering problems, he hopes to be an innovative aerospace engineer and successful industry leader to usher in the next generation of commercial space access.

Marella, who attended high school locally at Cranston (R.I.) West also serves as an undergraduate teaching assistant in ENGN0040 (Dynamics and Vibrations). As a researcher in Professor Kenny Breuer’s Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Marella has explored various topics in aerodynamics, from unsteady flapping-wing flight in animals like bats to ground effect destabilization of micro-scale quadrotors. 

“Dan is incredibly enthusiastic and energetic, and always brings high energy to his research projects,” said Breuer. “Beneath his passion for space is pure excitement for anything that flies.”

In the summer of 2023, Marella interned at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory, exploring nanosatellites in a new light, contributing to complicated mechanical structures, designing an active attitude control system, and testing novel electric propulsion methods. This experience expanded his passion for space technology and solidified his desire to pursue a career in commercial space.