VAB Profile: George Popov


George Popov (VIPER '21)


Degrees and Majors at Penn?

  • MS & BA in Physics and Astronomy, BSE in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, and Math Minor

Current Job?

  • PhD Candidate in Space Engineering at Caltech

Awards and Achievements

  • The Hugo Otto Wolf Memorial Prize for the greatest thoroughness and originality of work (2021)
  • VIPER Outstanding Research Achievement Award (2021)
  • Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (2021-Present)
  • Tau Beta Pi Honor Society (2020-Present)

Why did you join VAB?

  • I very much enjoyed the VIPER program and starting the VSB, and I wish to remain in a position where I can help this program and its wonderful members keep growing and evolving long term.

What part of the energy industry are you most excited about?

  • I am very excited about creative solutions to improve renewable sources. My current PhD project is on space based solar power and how it can power the earth, and I think it's exciting that something traditionally not very green like sending things to space can provide net positives to sustainability. 

What is something that you're interested in?

  • I like high power rocketry as pushing my engineering skills is fun, and it gives me a way to express some creativity outside of my traditional settings. I've also been having a blast exploring some of the natural sights I can find around me!

What is your favorite book to read?

  • Icefire, it's a fun and easygoing wholesome atmosphere that I loved growing up and gives me a lot of nostalgia.