Courses by Instructor



Dr. Aaron Persad


Boulder, Colorado


Dr. Aaron Persad is a researcher in Space Sciences with 15 years of experience in the field. He leads various Space Science projects such as studies of the behavior of water in low-gravity environments, how to harvest water from the Moon to support long-duration human space missions, the performance of organic-based solar cells in the stratosphere, testing the next generation of space suits, and many others. His experiments and payloads have been performed in drop towers, stratospheric balloons, reduced gravity aircraft, and the International Space Station.

Dr. Persad is also a Postdoctoral Associate in the Mechanical Engineering department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research in the MIT Microfluidics and Nanofluidics Research Lab investigates how to filter molecules of different shapes and masses across custom-made membranes that are only one atom thick. The filters may help improve water purification, and recycling of harsh solvents from industrial processes. His doctoral degree is in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) from the University of Toronto, where his work focused on applying quantum mechanics to explain evaporation processes and was ranked as the top in the department at the time of his graduation.

Dr. Persad is enthusiastic about teaching and was recognized as the top Teaching Assistant by the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Engineering at the University of Toronto in 2013. He is training to be an astronaut and was ranked amongst the top 60 candidates in the Canadian Space Agency’s 2017
Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. Aaron enjoys snowboarding in the winter, hiking in the summer, and learning about history and philosophy in between. He is a PoSSUM 1502 graduate.


PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidate

IIAS Courses Completed

PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Qualification Program, AER 101: Suborbital Space Environment, AER 103: Airborne Imagery of Noctilucent CLouds, BIO 101: Space Flight Physiology, BIO 103: Microgravity Space Suit Evaluation, BIO 104: Post-Landing Space Suit Evaluation, EDU 101: Citizen-Science Research Methods, EVA 101: Life Support Systems, EVA 103; Planetary Field Geology and EVA Tool Development, EVA 104: Gravity-Offset EVA Space Suit Evaluation, OPS 102: Spacecraft Egress and Rescue Operations


Field of Expertise


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