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Rohan Sahani is a graduate student in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is working as a graduate research assistant at the Laboratory for Human and Machine Haptics at MIT and his thesis involves integrating a tactile display with a force feedback haptic device. Before attending MIT, he carried out extensive research on Planetary Defense Systems for potentially dangerous Near Earth Objects (NEO’s) and created Prevention Sequence Mechanisms (PSM) for NEO’s based on a three-parameter scheme based classification framework. During the summer of 2006 he was selected as a Robert Heinlein Scholar and invited to Moscow, Russia to give a talk on his PSM research.
He served as a student delegate in the first ever India-United States Space Conference in June 2004. He won First Prize in the International Moon Mission Design Contest and was later pre-selected to be a Research Engineer on the Moon Society’s six-member Mars Desert Research Station Crew in December 2004. He did his undergraduate thesis through a Microsoft Corporation student program, in which he developed a software application for tracking NEO’s based on his PSM’s and classification framework, and he was later nominated for the 2005 Tech Museum Awards. In July 2005, Rohan was awarded one of India's most prestigious scholarships from the second largest Fortune 500 Company in India,Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), who honored him with the title of “BPCL Scholar.” He served as the President of Moon Society India during the International Lunar Conference in 2004 where he actively participated in the post-conference recommendations committee of the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG).
Rohan is passionate about Formula-1 racing and enjoys hiking, Egyptian archaeology, ziplining, kayaking, traveling/exploring and camping. His primary goal is to carry out cutting-edge geological, atmospheric, and astrobiological exploration of the surfaces of the Moon and Mars; however, he would be almost as happy if he goes on to become a Formula-1 driver.
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