NASA Awards First Space Technology Research Fellowship Grants

NASA PR — WASHINGTON — NASA has selected the inaugural class of Space Technology Research Fellows. Eighty-one students will receive graduate student fellowships from NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist to pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in relevant space technology disciplines at their respective institutions.

This first class of Space Technology Fellows is part of NASA’s strategy to develop the technological foundation for its future science and exploration missions. The program’s goal is to provide the nation with a pipeline of highly skilled engineers and technologists to improve U.S. competitiveness.

“These fellowships will develop America’s technology leaders for tomorrow, leaders that will help us out-innovate, out-educate and out-build our competitors and maintain our leadership in space,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said. “President Obama has said, ‘America’s competitiveness rests on the excellence of our citizens in technical fields.’ These grants are an investment in America’s intellectual capital and our nation’s future.”

NASA Space Technology Fellows will perform innovative space technology research while building the skills necessary to become future technological leaders. Selected candidates will perform graduate student research on their respective campuses and at NASA centers and nonprofit U.S. research and development laboratories.

For a list of fellowship recipients, their research institutions and their research topics, visit:

The fellowships program is managed for NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist by the agency’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. For information about the Office of the Chief Technologist and the fellowships program, visit:

StudentHost UniversityResearch Topic
Anzel, PaulCalifornia Institute of TechnologyDevelopment of Nonlinear Phased Array Systems for Non-Destructive Evaluation and Structural Health Monitoring of Aerospace Structures
Arnold, HeatherNorthwestern UniversityExcitonics based on carbon nanomaterials: A pathway toward low-power, high-speed, and radiation-hard computation
Ashman, Benjamin WesleyPurdue UniversityIncorporation of GNSS Multipath to Improve Autonomous Rendezvous, Docking and Proximity Operations in Space
Bauer, Nicole ChristineGeorgia Institute of TechnologySmall Probes for Orbital Return of Experiments Mission Design
Bedsole, RobertAuburn UniversityCharacterization and modeling of high-strain rate failure
response of nanocomposites
Berger, KyleUniversity of Colorado, BoulderPrediction of Regolith Ejection during Extraterrestrial Landings
Bopp, MatthewGeorgia Institute of TechnologyImplementation and Assessment of a Time-Accurate Aeroelastic Model for Analysis of Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators
Brinster, IrinaCarnegie Mellon UniversityMission Trade Space Evaluation through Multiphysics Design and Optimization
Brown, BatthewUniversity of Southern CaliforniaTask allocation using continuous resource distributed markov decision processes
Bustamante, MichaelUniversity of MarylandBurning Rate Emulator Experiments for Spacecraft Fire Safety
Chen, Qian NatalyUniversity of WashingtonHierarchical Oxide Nanostructures for High Performance Energy Storage
Clarke, PeterUniversity of Texas at AustinA novel highly efficient scheme for the Boltzmann equation
Coen, ChristopherGeorgia Institute of TechnologySilicon-Germanium Front-End Electronics for Space-based Radar Applications
Coffman, ChaseMITDevelopment of multi-modal, high-density electrospray porous metal thrusters
Combs, ChristopherUniversity of Texas at AustinQuantitative measurements of ablation-products transport for turbulence model validation
Cornell, BrettCalifornia Institute of TechnologyHigh-Resolution Gamma-Ray Detection using Phonon-Mediated Detection
Creech, Timothy MattauschUniversity of MarylandAutomatic parallelization of serial programs for NASA space-based computing systems
Ebersohn, Frans HendrikTexas A&M UniversityStudy of Magnetic Nozzle Effects on Plasma Plumes
Edgar, ByronUniversity of MinnesotaConsistent Particle-Continuum Modeling and Simulation of Flows in Strong Thermochemical Nonequilibrium
Ferraro, MarkUniversity of Texas at AustinComputational Design of Nanomaterials by Patten Replication
Grace, EmilyPrinceton UniversityDetector Development for Polarization Studies of the Cosmic Microwave Background
Guerrant, Daniel VernonUniversity of Colorado, BoulderPerformance Quantification of Solar Sail Heliogyros for Planetary and Interplanetary Missions Using Multi-scale Dynamics and Control Analysis
Handlin, DanielMIT3D Constitutive Relations for an Aligned Carbon Nanotube Polymer Nanocomposite as a Function of Morphology
Hartsough, LucasWilliam Marsh Rice UniversitySynthetic Biology for Extraterrestrial In Situ Resource Utilization
Helson, KyleBrown UniversityDeveloping Instrumentation for Ground and Balloon-borne Observing Platforms
Herzberger, Jaemi LeeUniversity of MarylandNext-generation Electronic Systems for Innovative New Space Technologies and for the Nation’s Science, Exploration and Economic Future
Holschuh, BradleyMITDevelopment and Testing of Compression Technologies Using Advanced Materials for Mechanical Counter-Pressure Planetary Exploration Suits
Host, NickThe Ohio State UniversityDevelopment of Reconfigurable Ka-Band Antenna Array
Hovsepian, SarahMITLifecycle Reusable Functional Digital Materials
Kan, BrandonPurdue UniversityValveless Detonation Concepts for Space Exploration
Kazemba, ColeGeorgia Institute of TechnologyDynamic Stability Characterization of Rigid Deployable Aerodynamic Decelerators
Kier, ZacharyUniversity of MichiganModeling Failure of K-Cor Sandwich Structures with Defects Using a Multi-scale Finite Element Method
Kiraly, Brian ThomasThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUtilizing Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance in Metallic Nanostructures for Highly Sensitive Biosensing
Kjellberg, Henri ChristianUniversity of Texas at AustinDesign and Demonstration of a Constrained Control System for Maneuverable CubeSats
Knittel, JeremyUniversity of MarylandOptimal Aerodynamic Forms for High-Lift, Low-Drag Planetary Entry
Komendera, ErikUniversity of Colorado, BoulderAutonomous assembly of structures in space
Kragh, Katherine CoraThe Pennsylvania State UniversityRobust Electrical Contacts for Sensors and Electronics in Space Flight
Lang, MariaUniversity of MichiganModeling of a Magnetoplasmadynamic Thruster using a Magnetic Nozzle
Lantukh, DemyanGeorgia Institute of TechnologyRapid Design and Navigation Tools to Enable Small-Body Missions
Larson, DanielThe Pennsylvania State UniversityDevelopment and Characterization of Fast Burning Solid Fuels/Propellants for Hybrid Rocket Motors with High Volumetric Efficiency
Lee, BrianColorado State UniversityLaser Diagnostics for Hall Thruster Erosion
Macner, Ashley MarieCornell UniversityInterfacial instability in two-phase flow: manipulating coalescence and condensation
Meeker, Seth RichardUniversity of California, Santa BarbaraCoronagraphic Planet Finding with Energy Resolving Detectors
Michal, BrianCase Western Reserve UniversityMulti-Functional Stimuli-Responsive Materials
Miller, Sarah MichelleNorthwestern UniversityTailorable Porous Ceramics via Freeze Casting
Minogue, EthanCarnegie Mellon UniversityAvionics for Hibernation and Recovery on Planetary Surfaces
Morgan, DanielUniversity of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignDynamics and Controls of Swarms of Femtosatellites
Morgan, KelseyUniversity of Wisconsin, MadisonDeveloping Transition Edge Sensors For New Space-Based Applications
Mueterthies, Michael JamesPurdue UniversityMagnetically Actuated Six Degree of Freedom Spacecraft Control Using Magnetic Torque Coils and Short Electrodynamic Tethers
Muri, Paul DanielUniversity of FloridaDisruptive Tolerant Networking for Distributed Small Satellite Systems
Padial, JoseStanford UniversityRobust sensing for rendezvous and docking: Fusion of vision and LIDAR in a SLAM framework
Pathak, MihirGeorgia Institute of TechnologyTwo-Stage, 20 K Pulse Tube Cryocooler for Space Studies
Pavlak, ThomasPurdue UniversityMission Design and Orbit Maintenance Strategies in the Earth-Moon System
Pong, Christopher MasaruMITSmall Satellite Attitude Determination and Control
Popa, AdrianaCase Western Reserve UniversityDevelopment of Magnetic-Plasmonic Nanoparticle Sensors for the Apprehension, Removal and Treatment (ART) of Microbial Contamination in Water
Powell, DaneWilliam Marsh Rice UniversityHuman-in-the-loop Control of a Bipedal Robot with Variable Levels of Autonomy
Putnam, ZacharyGeorgia Institute of TechnologyGuidance and Control for Entry Vehicles with Deployable Hypersonic Decelerators
Quinlan, JesseUniversity of VirginiaUnsteady Simulation of Dual-Mode Transition Flows Using a Hybrid LES/RANS Approach with Improved Sub-Grid Scale Models
Reinhardt, Benjamin ZaaronCornell UniversityControl of Resident Space Objects through Eddy-Current Actuation
Reinke, Benjamin TylerThe Ohio State UniversityCharacterization and modeling of neutron and gamma-ray radiation damage in silicon carbide semi-conductor materials and silica optical fibers at cryogenic temperature
Ruffatto, DonaldIllinois Institute of TechnologyDesign of Electrostatic Directional Dry Adhesives for Robotic Attachment Mechanisms
Scammell, AlexUniversity of MarylandFundamentals of Gravity and Tube Size Effects on Flow Boiling Heat Transfer
Schmitt, Benjamin LouisUniversity of PennsylvaniaDevelopment of Millimeter Imaging Technologies
Sekerak, Michael JamesUniversity of MichiganInvestigation of Transient Plasma Processes of Field-Reverse Configuration Thrusters
Smith, Brandon DenisUniversity of MichiganComputational Modeling of Hall Thruster Erosion
Smith, Matthew WilliamMITA Compact, High-Precision Optical Payload enabling Earth-Sized Exoplanet Detection using Nanosatellites
Spak, KaitlinVirginia Polytechnic Institute & State UniversityModeling Cable-Harness Effects on Spacecraft Structures
Stern, EricUniversity of MinnesotaHigh-Fidelity Modeling of Ablation and Coupled CFD-Material Response
Stevenson, DaanUniversity of Colorado, BoulderReduced Order Electrostatic Force Field Modeling of 3D Spacecraft Shapes
Stewart, KyleThe Ohio State UniversityAdvancing Radar Technologies for Space Exploration
Tietz, BrianCase Western Reserve UniversitySensory integration and decision making based on insect brain model
Tomboulian, BrianaUniversity of Massachusetts, AmherstLightweight, Damage-Tolerant Radiator for In-Space Power and Propulsion
Trumbauer, EricUniversity of California, IrvineAutomated Trajectory Design using Resonant Dynamics
Vitucci, John JosephUniversity of MarylandDevelopment of a Superconducting Helicon Thruster
Webb, TaylorBrigham Young UniversityKu Band Phased Array Feed Development for Surface Water Ocean Topography Mission
Wicks, SunnyMITNano-Engineered Hierarchical Advanced Composite Materials for Space Applications
Wierman, Matthew KennethPurdue UniversityMeasurement of combustion response to transverse modes at high pressure
Winkler, JustinUniversity of RochesterRoom-temperature single-photon source for secure quantum communication
Zaseck, ChrisPurdue UniversityDevelopment of High Performance Hybrid Fuels
Zimmerman, JonahStanford UniversityModeling Propellant Tank Dynamics