Bj 12

David A. Cavalieri
Mechanical & Aerospace Engineer

Address: 630B Flanner Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA


Phone: 574.631.4339

David Cavalieri joined the Notre Dame faculty as a Research Specialist in 2004 before becoming a Mechanical Engineer in the Engineering and Design Core Facility in 2016. He is responsible for designing, fabricating, installing, and operating wind tunnels and road-testing and flight-testing experimental apparatus. This includes certifying major modifications to jet aircraft through the Federal Aviation Administration. David graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with bachelor and master's degrees in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He is a licensed Professional Engineer, holds three patents, and has co-authored journal articles in various fields.

Justin Crepp

Justin R. Crepp 

Address: 339C Nieuwland Science Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA


Phone: 574.631.4092

Justin R. Crepp is the Frank M. Freimann Assistant Professor of Physics and Director of the EDCF. He designs and builds instruments for the largest telescopes in the world. Crepp's research involves developing new technologies and observational techniques to detect and study planets orbiting other stars. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2013, Crepp was awarded a NASA Early Career Fellowship for his work to develop a new type of astronomical spectrograph that uses adaptive optics. In 2017, Crepp won the NSF Career Fellowship for his research at the Large Binocular Telescope. Prior to working at Notre Dame, Crepp was a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in astrophysics from the University of Florida in 2008. View his faculty page here.

Matthew Engstrom

Matthew Engstrom
Electrical Engineer Associate

Address:630D Flanner Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA


Phone: 574.631.2557

Matthew Engstrom joined Notre Dame in 2018 as a general technician intern at the Engineering and Design Core Facility (EDCF). In 2019, Matthew transitioned to an electrical engineer associate at the EDCF. Matthew is responsible for assisting with the creation of prototypes, conducting various electrical tests on the designs, and even being involved in the engineering of a few designs. While he is mainly involved in the testing and assembly of designs, he is also involved in the programming for some prototypes and designs. Matthew is a 2019 graduate of Purdue Polytechnic Institute, with a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering Technology.

Bj 8

Randy Hamper
Mechanical Engineer

Address: 630E Flanner Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA


Phone: 574.631.8188

Randy Hamper joined the EDCF in 2016 as a Mechanical Engineer.  He is responsible for resolving mechanical engineering problems for various faculty research projects.  He has a doctorate in astronomy from Indiana University, a master of science degree in physics from Ball State University, and a bachelor of science degree in physics from Iowa State University.  Prior to joining the EDCF, Randy worked as a Design Engineer for Thomson Linear and Knaack designing and testing a variety of products.  He also is a Navy Reserve Engineering Duty Officer.

Bj 8

Brian Sands
Software Engineer

Address: 630F Flanner Hall, University of Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA


Phone: 574.631.2668

Brian Sands arrived at the University of Notre Dame from the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson AFB. Sands has over 10 years experience in Applied Physics research, with a background in Physics and Computer Science. Brian brings to the EDCF a knowledge of software development with instrumentation hardware and automated data acquisition and control. He has experience in high-level control system design all the way down to low-level FPGA programming.

Bj 12

James E. Smous
Lead Engineer

Address: 632 Flanner Hall, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 USA


Phone: 574.631.8127

Jim Smous joined Notre Dame Research in 2016 as Lead Engineer in the EDCF. Smous is responsible for developing prototype instrumentation, engineering consultation, and directing the activities of the facility. He has a B.S. in Opto-Electronic Engineering from the University of Houston, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, and holds 13 patents from mixed fields. He is a creative engineer with broad knowledge of electronics, hardware, optics, and software technologies and he specializes in machine vision and interdisciplinary design. For the 20 years prior to joining Notre Dame, James was owner and Principal Engineer at Jamestown Engineering Inc.