About Me

Dr. Vivek Muralidharan currently works as a Flight Dynamics Engineer at ICEYE in Finland, where he engages with orbit control and flight dynamics activities to manage ICEYE's fleet of synthetic aperture radar (SAR) satellites.

He specializes in Astrodynamics and Space Applications, and focuses on orbital dynamics, the circular-restricted three-body problem, stationkeeping strategies, orbit determination and guidance, navigation and control (GNC).

Previously, he was a Research Associate at the University of Luxembourg, where he worked in the Space Robotics Research Group (SpaceR) in the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability & Trust (SnT). He coordinated several space-oriented projects in collaboration with European startups and sponsored initiatives from the European Commission. His role encompassed a diverse array of responsibilities, including conducting scientific studies, fostering collaborations, conducting laboratory tests, and providing teaching and mentoring support. Notably, his research focused on developing autonomous control strategies for satellite rendezvous leveraging vision-based pose observations and hardware-in-the-loop validation for the EUROSTARS-FNR project. The project was a joint program of EUREKA and the European Commission, co-funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund. The output of Vivek’s control package is expected to be used by the project’s collaborator, Blackswan Space in Lithuania. 

Vivek received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology Karnataka (NITK), India, in 2015, and his Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Purdue University, USA, in 2017 and 2021, respectively. While at Purdue, he worked under the supervision of Dr. Kathleen C. Howell at the Multi-Body Dynamics Research group. His dissertation was entitled "Stretching Directions in Cislunar Space: Stationkeeping and an Application to Transfer Trajectory Design." Findings from his Ph.D. will serve in the development of orbit maintenance operations for the proposed NASA Lunar Gateway.

Vivek has also worked at Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) in Massachusetts, where he formulated control strategies for Earth-Moon Halo orbits and Mars-Phobos Quasi-satellite orbits. He has interned at the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), working on various projects, including the Differential Evolution Technique for Halo orbit design and stationkeeping. During his undergraduate program, Vivek served as team captain for the Formula Student Race Team NITK-Racing, a team of 36 undergraduate students who engineered, designed, and built a race car for the Formula Student Race Competitions conducted globally every year. He was actively involved with various activities with the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) while at Purdue University, which focuses on increasing the representation of Underrepresented Minority (URM) communities in engineering. 

Dr. Muralidharan is the author of several research articles and has a patent to his name. He has also been a reviewer of several journal and conference articles. 

Vivek's impressive contributions to the space industry have earned him recognition, including being featured in the 2022 list of "20 under 35" published by Space and Satellite Professionals International (SSPI). He was also a finalist for the Luigi G. Napolitano Award at the 73rd International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2022 held in Paris, France.

Outside of his professional life, he enjoys traveling and photography.