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ALABAMA SPACE GRANT CONSORTIUM Journal of the 2011-2012 NASA-ASGC Scholars and Fellows UNDERGRADUATE SCHOLARSHIP, TEACHER EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP, and GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP AWARDEES

Students from every Alabama Congressional District

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A Letter from the Director Dear Friends and Supporters of the Alabama Space Grant Consortium: We are pleased to introduce 48 remarkable young men and women who have been selected as Alabama’s 2011-2012 cohort of NASA Space Grant Scholars and Fellows. This “NASA-ASGC Scholars and Fellows Journal” is a personal introduction for you to this group of bright young people who will soon become part of the next generation of America’s aerospace workforce. From experience, we know that many of them will assume leadership roles in many different fields of aerospace science and engineering, in research, production, teaching and management.  The National Space Grant Program is described briefly in the next section in order to put the program into context.The Alabama Space Grant Scholarship and Fellowship Program is one of the largest in the country, because our universities have agreed to double the number of Fellowships awarded each year, beyond those funded by NASA. We do that because both government and industrial aerospace has a very significant position in the high-tech economy of our state. Please take a moment to read the personal statements and credentials of this up-andcoming group of exceptional scientists and engineers studying at universities across Alabama. Yours sincerely,

Dr. John C. Gregory Director Alabama Space Grant Consortium

Dr. John C. Gregory and Dr. Gerald J. Fishman Dr. Gerald J. Fishman, Astrophysicist at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama and recipient of the 2011 Shaw Prize in Astronomy was the guest speaker for the 2011 Scholars and Fellows Awards Ceremony.

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What is SPACE GRANT? The U.S. Congress created the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program in the NASA Authorization Act of 1988. In 1989 NASA acted upon this law and initiated the program, usually known as “Space Grant”. The antecedents of Space Grant are Land Grant and Sea Grant. Space Grant is a national network of colleges and universities working to expand opportunities for Americans to understand and participate in our national aeronautics and space enterprise. The Space Grant national network currently includes almost 1000 affiliates including universities, colleges, industries, museums, science centers, and state and local agencies across 52 consortia in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Among their various programs, the 52 consortia fund scholarships and fellowships for students pursuing careers in science, mathematics, engineering and technology, or STEM, as well as curriculum enhancement and faculty development. Member colleges and universities also administer pre-college and public service education projects in their states.

What does the Alabama Space Grant Consortium do?(www.uah.edu/ASGC) Since its inception in 1989, the NASA/Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) has constructed a broad-based member and affiliate network of universities, industry, research centers, and formal and informal educational institutions across the state through which we develop and deliver programs and opportunities to recruit and train U.S. citizens. Our members include all seven Research Universities in the state: Alabama A&M University (AAMU), Auburn University (AU), The University of Alabama (UA), The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB),The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAHuntsville), University of South Alabama (USA) and Tuskegee University (TU). Other affiliates include NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) and several other educational institutions, museums and private industry. UAHuntsville, located in the city of Huntsville, leads the Consortium.  We encourage participation from individuals in those groups traditionally underrepresented in aerospace and STEM-related professions.  All ASGC programs are designed to fit within both NASA’s education goals and our own consortium mission.  Each member university defines its own role within the consortium and sponsors high-quality activities chosen from our portfolio of programs suited to its own capabilities.  All campuses do NOT all do the same things.  Campus Directors work closely as a team to integrate programs, help each other fully share in program accomplishments and benefit from resources, contacts, and lessons learned.

What is the ASGC Scholarship and Fellowship Program? The Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC), a member of the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, supports undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships for students studying in an aerospace-related discipline at participating universities. The awards are made to United States citizens with proven academic excellence and accomplishments. In Alabama, we award over $400,000 worth of Space Grant Scholarships and Fellowships each year. This adds up, over the 23 years of the Alabama programs, to a total of 720 undergraduate scholarships and 258 graduate fellowships, for a total of almost $6.3 million in financial support. The students are competitively selected from hundreds of applicants each year. This current year $477,000 ($222,000 in matching, non-federal funds and $255,000 in NASA funds) was directed to scholarships and fellowships. ii ASGC_Journal_Layout11_21_11.indd 3

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The ASGC has developed a strategic plan that both reflects NASA strategic interests and supports Alabama’s education, research and economic agenda.  

Our Mission is: • to inspire, enable and educate a diverse group of Alabama students to take up careers in space science, aerospace technology and allied fields • to play our part in assuring U.S. leadership in space exploration and aerospace technology in the future • to inspire the next generation of space explorers (precollege programs) • to bring increased realization of the value of space science and technology to the people of Alabama • to ensure that our message and our programs reach all constituencies in the population of Alabama, especially those traditionally underrepresented in the science and engineering professions

Our Vision is: • an increased level of appreciation, participation and leadership by the people of Alabama in our national space exploration and aerospace engineering enterprises

Local and National Context: Huntsville has a reputation as a high-technology center in our region, with strong ties to NASA and America’s Space program. Huntsville is the home to NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and a major U.S. Army missile research and development center based at Redstone Arsenal. UAHuntsville is physically located in Cummings Research Park, the second largest industrial park in the U.S., containing over 280 companies, many of which are aerospace-related.  A major function of all the universities in our consortium is to supply well-trained engineers and scientists to the aerospace and defense entities in Huntsville. With their unique capabilities and interests in aeronautics, space and related fields, our members work in partnership with a diverse group of members and affiliate members, NASA, industry, state and local governments to develop programs of Space Grant activities that promote institutional cooperation and to expand capabilities rather than to directly support technical research. The aerospace enterprise has a special importance to the people of Alabama.  While other states have NASA field centers, many of those (CA, FL, OH, TX) are much larger in population and industrial production terms or, as in the case of MD and VA, the impact of NASA is overwhelmed by much larger government presences.  Since the early days of Redstone and Apollo rockets, the people of Alabama have looked to MSFC as a focus for development of high technology industry in the State and for involvement of its universities in space science and engineering. iii ASGC_Journal_Layout11_21_11.indd 4

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Alabama Consortium Membership Management and Administration The Alabama Space Grant Consortium is composed of seven PhD granting universities in the state of Alabama: Alabama A&M University, Auburn University, The University of Alabama, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, The University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of South Alabama, and Tuskegee University. Our college affiliates include Bevill State Community College and Shelton State Community College. ASGC is associated with several non-profit organizations such as the Alabama Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Coalition (AMSTEC), Sci-Quest, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, and the Von Braun Center for Science and Innovation, Inc. We also partner with The Boeing Company, Dynetics, Inc., and NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.  The Alabama Space Grant Program is administered by The University of Alabama in Huntsville, a Space Grant College. The Consortium Director, Assistant Director, Administrative Assistant, and a Campus Director on each of the seven campuses constitute the Consortium Management Team. The names, addresses, and phone numbers are as follows:

Dr. John C. Gregory Director, ASGC The University of Alabama in Huntsville 301 Sparkman Drive, MSB 111 Huntsville, AL 35899 (p) 256.824.6028 (f) 256.824.6061 gregoryj@uah.edu

Ms. Debora Nielson Assistant Director, ASGC The University of Alabama in Huntsville 301 Sparkman Drive, MSB 205 Huntsville, AL 35899 (p) 256.824.6800 (f) 256.824.6061 debora.nielson@uah.edu

Mrs. Teresa Shurtz Program Manager, NASA EPSCoR The University of Alabama in Huntsville 301 Sparkman Drive, MSB 207 Huntsville, AL 35899 (p) 256.824.6076 (f) 256.824.6061 shurtzt@uah.edu

Mrs. Beverly Pike Administrative Assistant The University of Alabama in Huntsville 301 Sparkman Drive, MSB 107 Huntsville, AL 35899 (p) 256.824.5412 (f) 256.824.6061 beverly.pike@uah.edu

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Alabama Consortium Membership Campus Directors Alabama A&M University Dr. V. Trent Montgomery Dean, School of Engineering & Technology Room 226, ETB, P.O. Box 1148 Normal, AL 35762 (p) 256.372.5560 (f) 256.372.5580 trent.montgomery@aamu.edu

Auburn University Dr. David Beale Department of Mechanical Engineering 354 Rose Hall Auburn University, AL 36849 (p) 334.844.3336 (f) 334.844.3307 dbeale@eng.auburn.edu

The University of Alabama Dr. John Baker Department of Mechanical Engineering P.O. Box 870276 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0276 (p) 205.348.4997 (f) 205.348.6419 john.baker@eng.ua.edu

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Dr.Yogesh K.Vohra Department of Physics 1300 University Blvd., 310 Campbell Hall Birmingham, AL 35294-1170 (p) 205.934.6662 (f) 205.934.8009 ykvohra@uah.edu

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Dr. Gerald R. Karr Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Eng. Technology Hall, N257 Huntsville, AL 35899 (p) 256.824.6330 (f) 256.824.6758 karr@eng.uah.edu

University of South Alabama Dr. John W. Steadman Dean, College of Engineering EGCB 108, 307 University Blvd. Mobile, AL 36688-0002 (p) 251.406.6140 (f) 251.460.6343 jsteadman@usouthal.edu

Tuskegee University Dr. Gregory V. Murphy Department of Electrical Engineering 316 Luther H. Foster Hall Tuskegee, AL 36088 (p) 334.727.8995 (f) 334.724.4806 gvmurphy@ieee.org v ASGC_Journal_Layout11_21_11.indd 6

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Table of Contents U.S. Congressional Representatives

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Alabama A&M University Scholar/Fellow Undergraduate Scholar Landon Cook Mardecial Hines Jonathan Hudson Quintina Marable Kayla Janel Merriweather Raneisha Moorer Sierra Swoope Daevid Williams

Congressional Representative

District

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

7

Spencer Bachus

AL 6

8

Judy Biggert

IL 13

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Terri Sewell

AL 7

10

Stephen Fincher

TN 8

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Terri Sewell

AL 7

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Jon Runyan

NJ 3

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Martha Roby

AL 2

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Michael Rogers

AL 3

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Ross Fontenot

Charles Boustany

LA 7

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Paul Robinson

Paul Broun

GA 10

17

Congressional Representative

District

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

19

Jo Bonner

AL 1

20

Martha Roby

AL 2

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Robert Aderholt

AL 4

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John Duncan

TN 2

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

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Spencer Bachus

AL 6

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

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Jeff Fortenberry

NE 1

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Regina Williams

Graduate Fellow

Auburn University Scholar/Fellow Undergraduate Scholar Jessica Belue Chris Erb Matthew Gill Rebecca Keller Chad Rose Travis Wheeler Teacher Education Scholar Lindsey Rogers Graduate Fellow Jordan Britt Wesley Smith, III

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The University of Alabama Scholar/Fellow Undergraduate Scholar Brynn Bralley Melissa Hembree Jill Hershman Mary Kathryn Jones Justin Reeves Tiesha Salandy Teacher Education Scholar Matthew Beck Graduate Fellow Nicholas Harris T. Brian Shirey

Congressional Representative

District

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David Dreier

CA 26

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Jo Bonner

AL 1

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Pete Sessions

TX 32

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

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Jo Bonner

AL 1

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

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Robert Aderholt

AL 4

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

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Michael Rogers

AL 3

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Congressional Representative

District

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

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John Sullivan

OK 1

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Spencer Bachus

AL 6

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham Scholar/Fellow Undergraduate Scholar Andrew Fox Graduate Fellow Laura Gast Sarah Thomas

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Scholar/Fellow Undergraduate Scholar Paul Ferguson

Congressional Representative

District

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Mo Brooks

AL 5

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Tara Ferguson

Ander Crenshaw

FL 4

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Brady Hood

Mo Brooks

AL 5

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Hassan Robert Liaghati

Mo Brooks

AL 5

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Samantha Shine

Jean Schmidt

OH 2

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Robert Aderholt

AL 4

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Phil Roe

TN 1

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Janice Hahn

CA 36

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Teacher Education Scholar Tami Reeves Graduate Fellow Ashley Campbell Brian Sweeney

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University of South Alabama Scholar/Fellow Undergraduate Scholar Daniel Martin Sarah Naylor Richard Salter Ryan Stonecypher Quan Tran Graduate Fellow Daniel O’Keefe Alexander Scruggs

Congressional Representative

District

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Jo Bonner

AL 1

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Jeff Miller

FL 1

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Jo Bonner

AL 1

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Jo Bonner

AL 1

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Jo Bonner

AL 1

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Randy Forbes

VA 4

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Steven Palazzo

MS 4

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Congressional Representative

District

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Nancy Pelosi

CA 8

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Tuskegee University Scholar/Fellow Undergraduate Scholar Troy Cole

Special Recognition Graphic Design by Mrs. April Clark, The University of Alabama in Huntsville Photography by Mr. Charles Patty and Mr. Addison Brown, The University of Alabama in Huntsville

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Congressional Representatives Alabama Congressional Representative Jo Bonner ~ District 1 Scholar/Fellow

University

Undergraduate Scholar Chris Erb

Auburn University

Melissa Hembree

The University of Alabama

Justin Reeves

The University of Alabama

Daniel Martin

University of South Alabama

Richard Salter

University of South Alabama

Ryan Stonecypher

University of South Alabama

Quan Tran

University of South Alabama

Alabama Congressional Representative Martha Roby ~ District 2 Scholar/Fellow

University

Undergraduate Scholar Daevid Williams

Alabama A&M University

Matthew Gill

Auburn University

Alabama Congressional Representative Michael Rogers ~ District 3 Scholar/Fellow

University

Undergraduate Scholar Regina Williams

Alabama A&M University

Graduate Fellow T. Brian Shirey

The University of Alabama

Alabama Congressional Representative Robert Aderholt ~ District 4 Scholar/Fellow

University

Undergraduate Scholar Rebecca Keller

Auburn University

Tammi Reeves

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Teacher Educator Scholar Matthew Beck

The University of Alabama

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Congressional Representatives Alabama Congressional Representative Mo Brooks ~ District 5 Scholar/Fellow

University

Undergraduate Scholar Landon Cook

Alabama A&M University

Jessica Belue

Auburn University

Travis Wheeler

Auburn University

Mary Kathryn Jones

The University of Alabama

Tiesha Salandy

The University of Alabama

Andrew Fox

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Paul Ferguson

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Brady Hood

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Hassan Robert Liaghati

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Graduate Fellow Jordan Britt

Auburn University

Nicholas Harris

The University of Alabama

Alabama Congressional Representative Spencer Bachus ~ District 6 Scholar/Fellow

University

Undergraduate Scholar Mardecial Hines

Alabama A&M University

Teacher Educator Scholar Sarah Thomas

The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Graduate Fellow Lindsey Rogers

Auburn University

Alabama Congressional Representative Terri Sewell ~ District 7 Scholar/Fellow

University

Undergraduate Scholar Quintina Marable

Alabama A&M University

Raneisha Moorer

Alabama A&M University

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Alabama A&M University

Campus Director Dr.V.Trent Montgomery

Dean, School of Engineering & Technology

Associate Director, Alabama Space Grant Consortium

Dr.Teresa Merriweather Orok Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship & Economic Development

Dr. Daniel K. Wims Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

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Alabama A&M University

Undergraduate Scholar Landon Cook

BS, Mechanical Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: To obtain a position as a Mechanical Engineer in an area where my skills and education would serve to contribute to the goals and objectives of the organization. Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. Zhengtao Deng

High School: G.E.D. Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks

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Alabama A&M University

Undergraduate Scholar Mardecial Hines BS, Civil Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: I want to become a civil engineer because they are trained in the design and construction of public works, such as bridges, dams, and other large facilities. This means I could help people complete their daily functions. (I am currently seeking a BS in Civil Engineering from Alabama A&M University.) I will acquire a basic understanding of construction and structural engineering, soil mechanics and foundations, transportation systems, water resources, hydraulic engineering, environmental engineering, surveying and mapping, city planning and municipal engineering. My goal is to obtain a challenging and responsible position in civil engineering with a reputable organization offering opportunities for career advancement. I want to practice and experience a career as a professional civil engineer, so that I may change the environment to benefit the public, and improve the means of production throughout the world. I hope to attain this goal through rigorous training and schooling. Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama Congressional District: AL 6 Advisor: Dr. Sudip Bhattacharjee

High School: Ramsey High School Congressional Representative: Spencer Bachus

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Alabama A&M University

Undergraduate Scholar Jonathan Hudson BS, Biology December 2011

Career Goals: Upon my December 2011 graduation, I have plans of earning a full-time position in Research and Development or Quality Assurance. Both of these fields allow me to use several of my finest qualities, which are: leadership, teamwork, verbal communication, diligence, and hard work. If an offer for either one is made, I will be more than obliged to accept under certain conditions. As a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., I have adapted and excelled as a profound leader and verbal communicator. An example of my leadership and verbal communication skills are being a mentor in our national program, Go-to-High School Go-to-College, a program that allows me to tell my story to high school students in hopes of motivating them to follow my footsteps. Being an active member of my fraternity’s undergraduate chapter, working in sales, working in the food industry, as well as AAMU’s university library, has surely matured my teamwork capabilities. As far as hard work, I cannot stress enough how consistent I am when it comes to completing tasks as instructed. Over the next 20 years, I hope to move up the chain in whichever field God has chosen for me. With the fierce competition, I am anticipating being faced with options such as continuing my education in Cincinnati, Ohio or searching for similar employment. When I enrolled at AAMU, my goal was to attend pharmacy school. I would like to leave this option open to attend pharmacy school, as it would satisfy my desire to help the sick and give strong advice. Hometown: Bollingbrook, Illinois Congressional District: IL 13 Advisor: Professor Wiley Henderson

High School: Bollingbrook High School Congressional Representative: Judy Biggert

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Alabama A&M University

Undergraduate Scholar Quintina Marable

BS, Food Science December 2011

Career Goals: Food Science is a very interesting field that is not limited to one area. With a bachelor’s degree in Food Science, I can utilize it in several different ways. I would like to experience all of the aspects of food science that appeal to me by attending a graduate program in nutrition. Regulatory nutrition labels is the area that interests me the most. Several industries have visited the campus of AAMU, but I found the Kellogg’s company to be more appealing. One of my desires is to be able to travel the world attending international research conferences within my career field. In April 2011, my Food Science journey will begin. I will implement a program that informs students about the area of Food Science. For example, the first will deal with Sensory Science. The students will be given samples of candy and I will explain the different sensory taste tests. The nutrition aspect of Food Science is a very strong interest of mine. The next program that I will implement will deal with nutrition today. This program will be implemented to elementary students. Elementary students will be chosen because they are at a stage where their brains are like sponges. If I begin with them, it will be instilled as one of their morals or values and it will be passed on to the family members who will pass it on to co-worker, friends, church members, etc. An area of concern is to slow down the rapidly rising rate of obesity in the U.S. These are just a few examples of the many programs I will implement throughout my career. The ASGC scholarship program will assist me financially to implement some of my many ideas to improve the health status of the U.S. Hometown: Fairfield, Alabama Congressional District: AL 7 Advisor: Dr. Josh Herring

High School: Fairfield High Preparatory School Congressional Representative: Terri Sewell

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Alabama A&M University

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NASA Career Goals: Within the last year, I have encountered several situations that have molded me into the person I am today and acquired a more definitive idea of what I wanted to do in my professional life. This time last year, I was preparing to leave for Phoenix, Arizona for an internship with APS, a utilities company that provides electricity for the majority of Arizona. Before beginning the internship, I decided that I wanted to pursue engineering work involving environment protection and monitoring or wastewater treatment. During my internship, I gained valuable experience in the power production field. However, during my term at APS in the summer of 2010, I had the opportunity to work on more typical civil engineering projects, such as, foundation assessments and monitoring, and work involving AUTOCAD. Since my freshmen year, my primary focus had been graduating with my BS Degree in Civil Engineering, taking the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, and eventually practicing environmental engineering in the private sector. While working with the engineers at Ocotillo, and having several opportunities to have one-on-one conversations with them about the development of their careers, we often discussed seeking opportunities in management. During our conversations at APS, I learned that there is a need for engineers in the upper-level management of the company. The company was looking for engineers to fill plant management positions, because many of the daily tasks associated with the plant involved engineering type problem solving. My interest in working with people, and my passion for civil engineering, can both be satisfied in managerial roles. I will further improve my skills as a successful engineer given the opportunity to manage and motivate teams of people. I currently participate in leadership roles in several on-campus organizations, that give me the opportunity to learn from my team members. The knowledge that I gain while working will be helpful when I take my Professional Engineering Exam. My assignment for this year (2011) is to develop plans and processes for the natural gas plants to run more efficiently. I am really excited to be working on this type of project, as it contributes to my interest in environmental sustainability. Helping improve the efficiency of the natural gas plants would be my contribution towards improving the environment. Hometown: Medon, Tennesse Congressional District: TN 8 Advisor: Dr.V. Trent Montgomery

High School: Southside High School Congressional Representative: Stephen Fincher

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Alabama A&M University

Undergraduate Scholar Raneisha Moorer BS, Electrical Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: My goals are to: (1) continue my education by obtaining a masters degree in engineering; (2) to use my knowledge, skills and talents to acquire an engineering position that provides support to the growth of a company; (3) research new processes and/or modifications to develop superior organizational skills to effectively communicate and build team work. I also plan to give back to my community by teaching at-risk children math and science in a rural area. Rural area school systems are finding it more difficult to hire highly qualified math and science teachers. My greatest ambition is to exceed Bill Gates’ status by owning and operating a computer software company. Hometown: Camden, Alabama Congressional District: AL 7 Advisor: Professor Stoney Massey

High School: Wilcox Central High School Congressional Representative: Terri Sewell

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Alabama A&M University

Undergraduate Scholar Sierra Swoope

BS, Biology December 2011

Career Goals: I am very active with student activities on campus as well as community service. I am a member of the AAMU HCOP Program. This program helps students with career options in health related careers and opportunities. I am also a member of Pre-Alumni Association, Christian Student Organization, WAIT Program, TRIO Special Program, Habitat for Humanity and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Pursuing a career as an aerospace medical doctor has always been my core ambition. My goal is to attend medical school and receive my MD/PhD. I plan to achieve this goal through research and training. By studying to be a life scientist, I can accomplish the major task of being qualified to provide better service in taking care of people. I am a firm believer in making a strong impact on the lives of others. This impact could affect change. A change that is so great; it could possibly save numerous lives or make them emotionally and physically better. I am aware of all the opportunities accessible to me while pursing an aerospace career. I am fascinated with all aspects of biology related fields. There has never been a doubt that I wanted to achieve a career in a science related field. With a career in aerospace medicine, I am prepared to become a physician in aspect to space biomedical research and learn the importance of protecting the health of people from harmful environments. I love to help people and my community, that is why becoming a medical doctor, is important to me.With all of my activities, I have always wanted to do research that will prepare me for the workforce. If accepted into the Alabama Space Grant Consortium scholarship program, I will use this program as a foundation for achieving my goals and I will continue to be active in my research and help the community as well as myself. I believe that I can contribute to the program by bringing my hardworking abilities, my thirst for learning and my dream of making a difference. Hometown: Willingboro, New Jersey Congressional District: NJ 3 Advisor: Ms. Pamela H. Thompson

High School: Rancocas Valley Regional High School Congressional Representative: Jon Runyan

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Alabama A&M University

Undergraduate Scholar Daevid Williams BS, Electrical Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: As for my short-term goals, I plan to have my master’s degree in engineering. Five years from now, I will have established my value in a government engineering profession such as NASA or the Defense Intelligence Agency. I look forward to having earned a position in the design or defensive departments of these government establishments. By defensive departments, I am referring to the departments that involve things such as cyber space security or reverse engineering of enemy technology. Five years from now, I expect to utilize my talents to help my country behind the lines. For my long-term goals, at least 20 years from now, I anticipate having my PhD and/or PE (Professional Engineering). I thoroughly enjoy engineering and over the next 20 years, I plan to do as much as possible to gain and apply knowledge to better the world. Also, with the knowledge and experience gained from my government work, I plan to have either become the lead project manager for the department I am associated with, or have begun my own company for a third brand of personal computers. These new personal computers will have all the uniqueness of Macintosh computers with all the affordability of PCs. Hometown: Newton, Alabama Congressional District: AL 2 Advisor: Dr. Andrew Scott

High School: Dale County High School, Midland City, AL Congressional Representative: Martha Roby

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Alabama A&M University

Undergraduate Scholar Regina Williams BS, Chemistry May 2012

Career Goals: My short-term goals are to finish my Bachelors of Science at AAMU and to attend graduate school to obtain a Doctorate of Pharmacy and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Pharmaceutical Sciences. My long-term goals are to obtain a job with a pharmaceutical company designing medicine for people that suffer from Alzheimer’s and to teach part-time at a University. Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama Congressional District: AL 3 Advisor: Dr. Malinda Westbrook

High School: Loveless Academic Magnet High School Congressional Representative: Michael Rogers

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Alabama A&M University

Graduate Fellow Ross Fontenot PhD, Physics May 2014

“Study, Development, and Innovative Exploration of Triboluminescent Materials for Smart Sensors” Research Abstract: Triboluminescence (TL) is a common phenomenon that occurs in approximately 50% of known crystals. In a practical sense, TL is a light from mechanical action. The term comes from the Green word tribein, meaning “to rub”, and the Latin lumen, meaning “light”. One of the brightest triboluminescent materials found thus far is europium dibenzoylmethide triethylammonium (EuD4TEA). This material was discovered by Hurt in 1966 and is bright enough to be seen in daylight. Measuring the triboluminescent properties of EuD4TEA, shows promise for their use as the active element for smart impact sensors. The proposed research program will study EuD4TEA and other dibenzoylmethide triethylammonium compounds for this purpose. Research in this field is of great interest to NASA because this technology could determine the severity and location of impacts in real time and hence useful in structural health monitoring of space vehicles. Hometown: Ville Platte, Louisiana Congressional District: LA 7 Advisor: Dr. Mohan Aggarwal

High School: Sacred Heart High School Congressional Representative: Charles Boustany

Publications & Presentations: 1.

R.S. Fontenot, W.A. Hollerman, and S.M. Goedeke, Initial Evidence of a Triboluminescent Wavelength Shift for ZnS:Mn Caused by Ballistic Impacts, Materials Letters, (accepted). 2. S.M. Goedeke, W.A. Hollerman, S.W. Allison, P.A. Gray, L.A. Lewis, R.W. Smithwick III, L.A. Boatner, D.C. Glasgow, R.S. Fontenot, and H. Wise, Comparison of Cathodoluminescent and Photoluminescent Emission Spectra of LuPO4 With Europium, Erbium, and Neodymium Dopants, IEEE Transactions of Nuclear Science, Volume 55, Issue 3, Pages 1107-1100, (June 2008). 3. R.S. Fontenot, W.A. Hollerman, M.S. Steuart, and B.M. Broussard, Measuring Mechnoluminescence Generated During Ballistic Impacts, SHOCK COMPRESSION OF CONDENSED MATTER 2009: Proceedings of the American Physical Society Topical Group on Shock Compression of Condensed Matter, American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings, Volume 1195, Pages 1413-1416, doi:10.1063/1.3295075, (December 2009). 4. R.S. Fontenot, W. Hollerman, M. Titsworth, W. Fountain, and M. Christl, “Results from two Low MassCosmic Ray Experiments Flown on the HASP Platform, APPLICATION OF ACCELERATORS IN RESEARCH AND INDUSTRY”: Twentieth International Conference; American Institute of Physics Conference Proceedings,Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 1026-1030, doi:10.1063/1.3119988 (March 2009). 5. R. S. Fontenot, W. Fountain, M. Christl, and W. Hollerman, Results from the Low Mass Cosmic Ray Experiment on the HASP Balloon, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, Honolulu, Hawaii,Volume 1, Pages 385-391, doi: 10.1109/NSSMIC.2007.4436355, (2007). 6. W.A. Hollerman, S.M. Goedeke, R.J. Moore, L.A. Boatner, S.W. Allison, and R.S. Fontenot, Unusual Fluorescence Emission Characteristics From Europium-Doped Lead Phosphate Glass Caused by 3 MeV Proton Irradiation, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Nuclear Science Symposium Conference Record, Honolulu, Hawaii, Volume 2, Pages 1368 - 1372, doi: 10.1109/NSSMIC.2007.4437255, (2007).

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Alabama A&M University

Graduate Fellow Paul Robinson PhD, Physics August 2014

“Miniaturized Real-time Surface-Enhanced/Stand-off Raman Based Hydrazine Sensor” Research Abstract: NASA has a need for a sensor that can monitor hydrazine levels outside the International Space Station. Hydrazine is an essential component in thruster propellant but is very harmful to humans. Real-time monitoring of contaminants can be accomplished using Surfaced Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). With its ability to detect a single molecule Stand-off Raman techniques are able to detect chemicals from 60 meters. Previous NASA research conducted at Glenn Research Center has set the specifications for hydrazine detection to 25 ppb minimum that can be accomplished and surpassed using aforementioned Raman techniques. We propose the development of a surface enhanced/stand off Raman based hydrazine sensor that is more sensitive than current technologies. As well as increased sensitivity, this research will also focus on producing detectors with minimal size, weight and power consumption that are able to detect gas and liquid phase trace contaminants for space based systems with potential commercial applications. We shall meet the following objectives: (1) demonstrate parts per billion hydrazine detection in real-time using SERS; (2) the fabrication of an SERS substrate with a large enhancement factor; and, (3) the detection of hydrazine from a distance as large as 60 meters using standoff Raman techniques. After my Master’s degree in Physics, I plan to acquire a doctorate and work in industry as a physicist for several years conducting research for NASA or the DoD. I really enjoy making inventions and innovations that help people. My ultimate goal is to become an inventor, amass several patents and to start my own research company. Hometown: Beavercreek, Ohio Congressional District: GA 10 Advisor: Professor Anup Sharma

High School: Rabun Gap Nacoochee School, GA Congressional Representative: Paul Broun

Publications & Presentations: 1.

A. Kassu, P. Robinson, A. Sharma, P. B. Ruffin, C. Brantley and E. Edwards, Reusing Commercial Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Substrate by Gold/Silver Coating, SPIE 7764 77640Q-1 2. A. Kassu, P. Robinson, A. Sharma, P. B. Ruffin, C. Brantley and E. Edwards, “Gold/Silver coated nanoporous ceramic membranes: A new substrate for Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy Studies,” SPIE 7764 77640M-1

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Auburn University

Campus Director Dr. David Beale

Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Auburn University

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BS, Industrial and Systems Engineering May 2014

NASA Career Goals: While pursuing my bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering, I want to also obtain a business minor. I think the two degrees will complement each other well in the work place. I am in the cooperative education program (Co-op) until the summer of 2012. This process will give me more work experience and has helped me decide the direction that I would like to take my career. I also plan to pursue a Masters degree in either Business or Industrial Engineering upon graduation. I do not want to wait too long after receiving my bachelor’s degree to start working on my master’s degree. In five years, I see myself working for a company on Redstone Arsenal or one that supports the missions of NASA and Redstone Arsenal. In my first few years of my career, I would like to learn many different aspects of the company I am working with to decide which field better suits my interest. I like to stay busy, so I would not mind being put on several projects at the same time to increase my exposure to a wide variety of fields. In twenty years, I would like to be in a management position. I think management is a good outlet for me, and my degree will help me become a better manager. I would like to be in management as early as possible to better develop my leadership skills. I have been a leader in many events in my life, but also a follower. I think I have learned more from being a follower about leadership than from my experiences as a leader. Therefore, I think it is crucial that I progress to a management level. I would also like to stay in the Tennessee Valley throughout my career. It is a place of many opportunities and I think I can support the goals of the space and defense industry. Hometown: New Market, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. LuAnn Sims

High School: Buckhorn High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks

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Auburn University

Undergraduate Scholar Chris Erb

BS, Electrical and Computer Engineering May 2013

Career Goals: The sad news is, the space shuttle program is drawing to a close. This week, Discovery embarked on its last mission. Endeavor and Atlantis will make their final journey before year end 2011. The astronauts at the space station will need to depend on Russia for food. The great news is, a private U.S. company has received a multi-billion dollar grant from NASA to develop a vehicle to transport people and supplies to the space station. How exciting would it be to be a part of the team that designs America’s next space ship! At Auburn, I have been so fortunate to contribute to the design and construction of AubieSat-1, the first satellite built by Auburn students. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this project team. I joined the team as a freshman, with very little practical knowledge. My initial contributions included soldering and researching parts catalogs. Now, a year and a half in to my college career, I am troubleshooting the code that will enable AubieSat-1 to communicate with the ground station and return the science mission data. Fall 2011 AubieSat-1 will journey to space. I am committed to doing what I can do to ensure its mission is a success. After school, I look forward to a exciting career in aerospace engineering that will hopefully be full of continued achievement and maybe an adventure or two. Hometown: Daphne, Alabama Congressional District: AL 1 Advisor: Dr. J-M Wersinger

High School: Bayside Academy Congressional Representative: Jo Bonner

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Auburn University

Undergraduate Scholar Matthew Gill BS, Physics and Electrical Engineering May 2013

Career Goals: In the short-term, I will continue my education so that I may broaden my skills and abilities for my career ahead. After completing my Bachelor’s degree, I will continue on to graduate school, pursuing a Master’s of Physics and a Master’s and Doctorate in Electrical Engineering. My time working with the Auburn University Student Space Program has given me many valuable insights into what knowledge and skills are necessary to make a project come together successfully. A theoretical grasp of concepts is key to fundamental understanding; however, I now realize that developing one’s practical abilities in designing, testing, and troubleshooting issues is a critical skillset to have before working with a research and development project. My time as Project Manager of the AubieSat-1 project has also taught me that successful communication, planning, and teamwork is the most crucial part of any team. Given what I have learned, I will spend the next several years not only cultivating my academic skills and knowledge, but also in honing my more practical abilities for success in my career. In addition to pursuing two separate degree programs, I also work a part-time job with Auburn University’s Office of Enrollment Services so that I can support myself financially. Through working with other student employees, I have gained additional skills in teamwork and task management. My time working in Admissions has given me perspective on what a privilege it is to be able to attend a major university and that I should never take my education and the pursuit thereof for granted. Once I have earned my degrees and learned the skills necessary to be successful in my career, I will apply for a position at either NASA, the DoD, or some other organization whose emphasis is research and development. It is my hope that I will be able to contribute to some great technological achievement by working with an agency like NASA, whose precedence in innovation and skilled constituents make it an ideal place to make a difference in the scientific and technological community. The space program has long inspired me. To see the hard work and ingenuity of so many scientists and engineers ascend from a launch pad is an inspiring sight. Someday, I hope to see my work take form in such an incredible way. Although this extends beyond the 20 years specified in the prompt, once I retire from my career as an engineer, I hope to return to academia to instruct future innovators. I believe it is important for students to be taught both the theoretical and practical sides of their respective fields.

Hometown: Geneva, Alabama Congressional District: AL 2 Advisor: Dr. Michael Bozack

High School: Geneva High School Congressional Representative: Martha Roby 21

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Auburn University

Undergraduate Scholar Rebecca Keller BS, Aerospace Engineering May 2013

Career Goals: When I began my education at Auburn University, I knew that I wanted to pursue an engineering degree, but I was unsure which engineering field suited me best. I spent time researching each option and meeting with advisors until I realized that everything about aerospace drew my attention. It fascinates me to think about the exploration of the unknown world outside the Earth’s atmosphere, the advanced present and futuristic technology involved, the intellectual challenge presented to design efficient and reliable space and aircraft. Aerospace engineers use their experience and knowledge to make the science fiction of technological advancements become a reality. This is why I am persistently motivated and eager to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering. I plan to get an internship for the summer of 2012 in the aerospace industry to begin practicing in the field and gaining the experience necessary to be a successful employee in my future career. An internship will also assist me in becoming familiar with career options available and in discovering which area of the field I would like to specialize in the most. I plan to graduate with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering. My long-term career goal is to work for NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, the Department of Defense, or another similar company. These types of companies focus on the design and construction of systems and vehicles that will allow us to explore the universe and expand our knowledge of the outside world. Hometown: Jasper, Alabama Congressional District: AL 4 Advisor: Dr. Lisa Avrit

High School: Walker High School Congressional Representative: Robert Aderholt

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Auburn University

Undergraduate Scholar Chad Rose BS, Mechanical Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: My main short-term goal is to further my education by pursuing research at the undergraduate level, in preparation for research in higher degrees. My interest in research is in the area of high-powered electronics. A growing demand for high-flux microelectronics, especially space exploration applications in recent years, is outpacing the development of these technologies. The major barrier to realization of further technological advances for these devices is the need for better thermal management. One of the key advances needed for better thermal management is the development of superior thermal interface materials (TIM). TIM’s fill in the gaps between the heat-generating components and the heat sinks that absorb the rejected heat. However, the use of phase change materials (PCM) is very promising for their intrinsic capability for heat storage and operation at a constant temperature. Although PCM have a very high latent heat of fusion, their overall thermal conductivity is very low, preventing them from being the instant solution to the aforementioned problem. However, my research interest is to design a PCM to meet the needs of a TIM by enhancing the thermal conductivity through the use of metallic nanoparticles. If I can design such a TIM, the applications would range from personal computers, hand-held devices, and even lay the groundwork for space applications. Since thermal management is a key component of any space vehicle by successfully completing a design for superior TIM, I would accomplish part of my short-term goal, as well as a first step toward my long-term goal. My interest in researching during my time at Auburn University also stems from my desire to continually learn about a broad range of subjects. This desire to broaden my education beyond the structured curriculum leads to research, the next step in my studies. Unlike the previous steps, this next step will not only involve things already laid out for me by others, but will consist of an independent application of knowledge and tools I have already acquired. Research will not only allow me to move from basic comprehension of engineering principles to specialized knowledge in a field of interest, but it will allow me to pursue knowledge in adjacent fields because of the increasing interdisciplinary nature of research. This requirement of interdisciplinary knowledge will prepare me for fulfilling my long-term goals for my career. In short, research allows me to pursue a higher education, as well as providing a venue for me to give back to my community. Hometown: Knoxville, Tennessee Congressional District: TN 2 Advisor: Dr. J.M. Khodadadi

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High School: Farragut High School Congressional Representative: John Duncan 23

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Auburn University

Undergraduate Scholar Travis Wheeler

BS, Mechanical Engineering May 2013

Career Goals: Instead of being the person that gets to go to space, I want to be the person that gets to put someone in space. I want to be a mechanical engineer, although I still have my passion for space. In fact, I’m even more intrigued now by the science behind it. Everything from the laws of physics that keep our planet in orbit to the ionization of gases at the poles that manifest as the aurora borealis; an event which I have even been fortunate enough to witness. In high school, I truly didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I took a wide variety of classes to expose myself to many different subjects, even taking some extra classes that I did not have to take. After exploring these avenues, I found that I am a natural when it comes to math and science. Coupled with my interest in space, I decided that I wanted to become a great engineer. Using my unique creativity and problem solving skills, I want to design and build new things that will surpass mankind’s technology. At the moment, I am applying for an internship at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville for the summer. I’m hoping for another internship next summer as well, either with NASA (again) or with a government contractor like Lockheed Martin or Northrop Grumman. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, I am considering continuing at Auburn University to obtain a dual major in Physics. Being a recipient of the ASGC scholarship would be very helpful to me in order to pay for college and books, both of which are becoming more and more expensive every year. With all my planning and foresight, I am not sure where I will end up once I leave college and venture out into the job market. I will be researching which jobs are hiring and which places will be the best for me to work, although, I do not know where I will be in five years. I would like to work toward advancing our research in space by building rockets, next-generation propulsion systems, designing space ships, or life support systems. I feel this is something that is challenging, changing, and that is exactly what I want to be a part of. I like to be challenged and inspired to devise new and better solutions. I would really enjoy doing this five years from now and even twenty years from now. Hometown: Madison, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. Sushil H. Bhavnani

High School: Bob Jones High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks 24

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Auburn University

Teacher Education Scholar Lindsey Rogers BS, Secondary Physics Education May 2013

Career Goals: I have known I have wanted to be a teacher since the fourth grade. I knew I wanted to be just like my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Smith, who was kind, sweet, and encouraged me to read books. When I took physics in high school, I was excited to learn that physics explains music. I have always loved music and have been in the marching band, concert band in high school, and now in college. Naturally, I decided that physics was the branch of science I wanted to teach. I plan on graduating from Auburn in May 2013 and return to my hometown in Birmingham and obtain a job at a local high school. After teaching for a year, I would like to work on my Master’s degree by going to school at night while continuing to teach during the day. My desire is that my student’s eyes will be opened to how fascinating physics is and how applicable the principles are to life. I would like ultimately to consider pursuing the administrative side of the education profession. For now, I am just looking forward to teaching in a classroom environment. Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama Congressional District: AL 6 Advisor: Dr. Melody Russell

High School: Oak Mountain High School Congressional Representative: Spencer Bachus

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Auburn University

Graduate Fellow Jordan Britt

PhD, Electrical Engineering December 2014

“Unmanned Robot Navigation in Unstructured Environments� Research Abstract: Robotic navigation has been an area of research for several decades, and has especially taken off with the introduction of SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping), in which the robot attempts to build a map of the environment using various perception sensors, while at the same time navigating using this map. The main steps to SLAM are: landmark extraction, data association, state estimation, statue update and landmark update. It will be critical for any autonomous robots exploring new territories to be capable of performing all of these tasks reliably while still maintaining high computational efficiency. This trade off is clearly seen in the areas of landmark extraction and data association. It is, therefore, the goal of this proposed research program to examine these varying techniques already in practice such as Iterative Closest Point (ICP) which can be computationally complex with fairly accurate results, and attempt to develop similar techniques for landmark extraction and data association, but with lower computational burden while maintaining the necessary accuracy requirements. Specifically, the ability to represent the world as a series of planes and efficiently extract them from perception devices will be examined. The end goal of this project will be to implement a SLAM algorithm that extracts planar surfaces from perception sensors and then associates these planes with previously extracted ones to determine the new position of the robot. Hometown: Decatur, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. John Hung

High School: Decatur High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks

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Auburn University

Graduate Fellow Wesley Smith, III

PhD, Mechanical Engineering August 2012

“Bridging the Gap between Computational Fluid Dynamics and Aero-acoustic Launch Environment� Research Abstract: The primary objective of this research is the optimization of water injection for the suppression of exhaust noise generated during the initial launch phase of rocket powered space vehicles. This effort has two major components: 1) improving the understanding of the physics involved in the water droplet breakup within the exhaust plume, and 2) devising a method to optimize the current water injection systems based on an enhanced understanding of the water vaporization process. The methods employed will primarily use a computational fluid dynamics model of the exhaust plume with the aid of a genetic optimizer algorithm to drive the computational code to minimize the exhaust noise. The connection between the flow parameters, as calculated by the computational fluid dynamics model, and the radiated noise may require the use of empirical models developed from experimental data and the literature. The research results will lead to substantial improvements in launch vehicle performance and the aero-acoustic environment around the launch pad. Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska Congressional District: NE 1 Advisor: Dr. Malcolm J. Crocker

High School: Independent Study High School Congressional Representative: Jeff Fortenberry

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The University of Alabama

Campus Director Dr. John Baker

Department of Mechanical Engineering

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The University of Alabama

Undergraduate Scholar Brynn Bralley

BS, Mechanical Engineering December 2011

Career Goals: As a mechanical engineering student, my primary short-term career goal is to explore the many different fields I could go into with this degree. When I was still in high school, I had the opportunity to work at a research facility. I worked with several PhDs and was able to see many innovative ways that engineering could affect the future. Since attending college, I have been able to work in a manufacturing company, a mentoring program, and the nuclear power industry. In these various jobs, I have been able to get a taste of how I could use my mechanical engineering degree for manufacturing, education, and power generation. I am currently working on the university’s first competing rocket team for the NASA USLI. By participating as a member of the rocket payload team, I have been able to experience working on this project and understanding it on a smaller scale. It has also allowed me to learn what specifications are necessary for the various required measuring instruments and how to integrate the payload into the rocket. I am thrilled to be learning about this exciting aspect of engineering. I am truly thankful for the opportunities I have been provided. These experiences have allowed me to meet my goal in seeking available mechanical engineering junctures. When it comes to my long-term goals, I would like to continue working in nuclear power. During my co-op, I had the opportunity to work in both maintenance and design. I really enjoyed maintenance, and I learned a multitude of specifics about different components used in a power plant. However, I must say that my heart was truly in the design aspect of the industry. I loved being challenged to take our existing plant designs and improve them to be safer and more efficient with our time, money and energy. I am very interested in power generation, so I am certain that regardless of where I decide to work, it will most likely remain in the power industry. I want to work in nuclear energy because of how unique it is. The science behind how it is created, and the idea that heat produced by the splitting of atoms can generate power to thousands of homes is incredible and never ceases to amaze me. Because of the possibility of disasters, nuclear power plants must undergo extensive safety requirements. The regulations taken to protect the safety of workers and the public is another reason why I like working in the nuclear power industry. I am proud to say that I have been able to work for the first company to begin construction on a new nuclear power plant since the Three Mile Island incident in 1979. With the advanced safety measures in place today, there is a stronger confidence in new nuclear development in this country. The nuclear industry is beginning to grow again in the U.S., and I want to be a part of it.

Hometown: La Canada Flintridge, California High School: Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy Congressional District: CA 26 Congressional Representative: David Dreier Advisor: Dr. Beth Todd 29

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The University of Alabama

Undergraduate Scholar Melissa Hembree BS, Mechanical Engineering December 2011

Career Goals: I chose to major in mechanical engineering because of how expansive the field of work is available in this industry. I have had the opportunities to intern with a small civil engineering and architectural firm that showed me how mechanical engineers are able to contribute to the civil engineering environment. I also learned about quality control, safety, and inspecting working alongside three mechanical engineers. Construction management is another field that I had the opportunity to see the benefits of utilizing mechanical engineering. I am currently part of a team at the University of Alabama that is designing and building a model rocket to compete in a launch competition in Huntsville, Alabama. My specific task deals with the scientific experiment of our rocket, so I’m designing and incorporating components such as a video camera, GPS, pressure transducers, and data loggers to house inside the rocket. My experience with this project has shown me that even the aerospace industry can provide opportunities for a mechanical engineer. I have also thoroughly enjoyed the design work experience in school and have started looking into companies that would provide design opportunities. Nuclear energy is another avenue that I have started researching and would like the chance to experience. My short-term goals include having a vast knowledge of how my company operates, becoming a master of the work I am doing for others, and learning from a mentor. My long-term goals include holding a team lead position, becoming a mentor to someone in my company, and sharing the knowledge that I have gained. The Society of Women Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers have both been very beneficial to my education and networking skills while attending college. I plan to become a professional member of both organizations. Hometown: Fairhope, Alabama Congressional District: AL 1 Advisor: Dr. Beth Todd

High School: Fairhope High School Congressional Representative: Jo Bonner

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The University of Alabama

Undergraduate Scholar Jill Hershman BS, Mechanical Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: In the next five years, I plan to graduate college and begin my career as a Mechanical Engineer. Ideally, I will accept a position with a Department of Defense contractor or a NASA agency. I’ve always been intrigued by National Defense, as well as space exploration. When I was in middle school, I had the opportunity to attend Marshall Space Flight Center’s Space camp. This experience piqued my interest in NASA and was one reason why I decided to become a Mechanical Engineer. At the end of year one, I will graduate college with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and begin work. At the end of year three, I would like to begin work on an MBA. At the end of year five, I plan to complete my MBA and begin a family. I plan to continue working and continue to advance within my company while maintaining a work-life balance.Throughout the first five years, I also plan to continue my involvement with both the Society of Women Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. During the next fifteen years, my career plans involve moving towards upper management within my company. With my MBA completed, I will have gained the experience needed to successfully manage a department. At the end of year ten, I plan to be an upper level engineering manager. At the end of year twenty, my goals include becoming a Vice President of the company. During this time, I also have the goal of becoming the Governor of my Society of Women Engineers Region and I plan to work my way up the SWE ladder to achieve the eventual goal of being President of SWE. While these goals will be difficult to achieve, I have never turned away from hard work. However, my most important goal within the next twenty years is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Networking with others both internal and external to my company will open up opportunities for both myself and those who come after me in the Mechanical Engineering field. Hometown: Dallas, Texas Congressional District: TX 32 Advisor: Dr. Beth Todd

High School: Trinity Christian Academy Congressional Representative: Pete Sessions

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The University of Alabama

Undergraduate Scholar Mary Kathryn Jones

BS, Mechanical Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: My future short-term goals begin with completing the NASA University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) competition representing The University of Alabama Rocket Girls Team. Next year I hope to create another all female engineering team to compete in the USLI competition. Another short-term goal is to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 2012. After which I hope to attend a graduate program and obtain an MBA. I am in the process of determining if I would like to enter into the industry before or after I obtain my MBA and Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. My future long-term goals include working in some area of the power industry. I have worked as a cooperative education student for four semesters with Southern Company and will complete my fifth term in the Summer 2012. Throughout my work period with Southern Company, I have found that the constant change in the energy industry provides an exciting and dynamic work environment. I am especially interested in the role that renewable energy will play in the future of the energy industry. To fulfill my goals I hope to gain experience by working in power plants to gain further understanding of the plant dynamic. I hope to become involved in research to develop more efficient power plants and in the development and purchasing of power plants. No matter what direction my career takes me, my top priority is to encourage younger students to consider math and science in their educational and career plans. I have enjoyed the educational engagement programs I have participated in with the USLI Rocket Girls and I hope to stay involved with these types of organizations throughout my career. The USLI competition has increased my confidence in my technical abilities and has allowed me to expand my career options. I hope to encourage that same confidence in my students who may be considering engineering as a career path. Hometown: Gurley, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. Beth Todd

High School: Madison County High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks

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The University of Alabama

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Undergraduate Scholar Justin Reeves

NASA Career Goals: I plan to graduate from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the top of my class. Next I plan to secure a job that offers great experience and opportunity to excel. I hope to work four years while gaining hands-on experience and then apply for my Professional Engineering license. During my next five year tenure I hope to gather as much knowledge as possible while obtaining the greatest exposure to real world engineering situations. My long-term goals consist of working toward a managerial position in a mid to large sized company. My lifelong dream has been to own a business, and I will work very hard to see it happen. Hometown: Gulf Shores, Alabama Congressional District: AL 1 Advisor: Dr.Yuebin Guo

High School: Gulf Shores High School Congressional Representative: Jo Bonner

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The University of Alabama

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Undergraduate Scholar Tiesha Salandy

NASA Career Goals: Considering that I am currently a standing sophomore, my short-term goals consist of graduating from The University of Alabama with a 3.4-4.0 GPA in the field of Aerospace Engineering; gaining experience in my particular field; then pursue a Master’s Degree. I think one of the most important aspects of every day life in a person’s professional standing is advancement. I am dedicating some of my time to increasing the expertise and education relevant to the field that I am soon to be challenged by. I plan to earn enough experience so that I can lead a comfortable lifestyle while working in such a competitive field. As for my long-term career goals, I will continue working as a part of a large company with hopes of achieving one of the highest positions within that company. Another career goal is to pursue experiences outside of my normal range, such as, learning new cultures, exploring different countries, meeting new people, and becoming familiar with worldwide customs. Financial security also plays an important role in my personal and professional long-term goals. Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. John Baker

High School: Johnson High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks

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The University of Alabama

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Teacher Educator Scholar Matthew Beck

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BS, Mathematics Education December 2013

NASA Career Goals: I am currently attending Snead State Community College pursuing a degree in Education. I plan on transferring to The University of Alabama upon graduating and completing my degree in Education. After graduation I plan to get a job teaching math and coaching basketball. Hometown: Boaz, Alabama Congressional District: AL 4 Advisor: Professor Blake Leeth

High School: Douglas High School Congressional Representative: Robert Aderholt

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The University of Alabama

Graduate Fellow Nicholas Harris

PhD, Electrical Engineering May 2015

“Photon Sensor Devices Based on Semiconductor Nanomaterials” Research Abstract: The goal of my research program is to demonstrate novel photon sensor devices based on (InGaN) semiconductor nanomaterials that are capable of addressing energy challenges, both on Earth and in Space, by yielding enhanced efficiency photovoltaic devices. These are most relevant to NASA since, the Sun being often the only source of energy available in space, there is a constant need to harvest efficiently this unlimited source of energy to sustain or extend the duration, range and complexity of nearly all its missions. InGaN is presently the only direct band gap semiconductor suitable for photon-sensor devices with a peak response at photon energies at and above 2.4 eV, i.e. where the peak of solar irradiance occurs and, therefore, where the most power can be harvested. InGaN is also more radiation resistant than conventional semiconductors, making it more suitable for space applications. The technical objectives of my research program are to: (i) demonstrate the synthesis of InGaN-based semiconductor nanomaterials (nanowires) by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE), (ii) verify that their structural, optical and electrical properties are suitable for photon sensor devices, (iii) fabricate and measure the characteristics of such devices, and (iv) simulate these characteristics in order to gain understanding of device operation. These will be complemented by a planned NASA extramural experience at the Goddard Space Flight Center. The synthesis of InGaN nanostructures (i.e. nanowires) will be carried out by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy.The growth parameters for nanowires will be appropriately tailored to control the indium content. P-type doping of InGaN will be pursued as well. P-n and p-i-n junction device structures embedding these nanowires will subsequently be realized.The physical properties of the nanowires and device structure, as well as their suitability for photon sensor devices will be assessed through a wide range of structural, optical and electrical characterization techniques. The fabrication of InGaN based devices will be carried out using conventional lithography and dry etching techniques. Subsequently, the device optical and electrical response characteristics will be measured, including current and voltage characteristics, spectral response, and efficiency. The operation of InGaN devices will be simulated by numerically solving the one-dimensional Poisson’s equation coupled with carrier-continuity equations with input parameters from the materials characterization and based on a given device structure. The device operational characteristics and conversion efficiency will then be extracted from the simulation to optimize of the device design.

Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. Patrick Kung

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High School: Madison County High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks 36

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The University of Alabama

Graduate Fellow T. Brian Shirey

PhD, Biology May 2013

“Perchlorate Reduction and Biochemistry in the Atacama Desert: The Search for Bio-Signatures of Life in a Martian Analog Environment� Research Abstract: Over the past 30 years, the search for life on Mars has been the central focus of Martian exploratory missions. Although it appears Mars is an uninhabited planet, its potential for past habitability remains veiled. Many geochemical conditions exist on Mars that are within the range of habitability for several groups of bacteria, and with the recent discovery of perchlorate on Mars, that range is expanded to include a particularly unique group of bacteria. Perchlorate reducing bacteria are physiologically adapted to use natural perchlorate salts that are typically found only in unsaturated soils. On Earth, the Atacama Desert, Chile is the largest repository of perchlorate, making it an ideal Mars analog. For this study, molecular, microbiological, and biochemical tools are being utilized to examine the bacterial reduction of perchlorate in the Atacama and its potential as a biomarker for Martian life. Sedimentary samples from eight sites in the Atacama Desert, Chile were collected along a precipitation gradient with varying degrees of perchlorate concentrations. Preliminary aerobic cultivations with these samples suggest a high correlation exists between bacterial habitability and water availability within the desert. Perchlorate reductase and the functional genes encoding for perchlorate reduction in bacteria are being examined to identify the distribution and diversity of perchlorate reducing bacteria in conditions similar to Mars. Finally, the bacterial fractionation of chlorine isotopes will be examined to establish a chemical relationship between soil chemistry and life. It is predicted that active perchlorate reducing bacteria will be found in these soils and unique biosignatures of metabolic activity will be identified. If it can be established that strong associations exist between the isotopic ratio values of naturally occurring perchlorate and biological activity, then this principle can be applied to future Mars missions designed to investigate the biochemical signatures of life. This study will be the first of its kind to investigate the isotopic fractionation ratios of perchlorate as a potential biomarker for life on Mars, with the ultimate goal of developing an assay to detect signatures of past or present biological activity based on simple chemical analyses. Hometown: Talladega, Alabama Congressional District: AL 3 Advisor: Dr. Julie Olson

High School: Talladega High School Congressional Representative: Michael Rogers 37

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Campus Director Dr.Yogesh K.Vohra Department of Physics

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Undergraduate Scholar Andrew Fox BS, BioMedical Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: Over the next several years, I plan to earn a graduate degree and enter the workforce. I have one more year of undergraduate study to complete before I earn my Biomedical Engineering Bachelor’s degree. After receiving this degree from UAB, I plan to secure a job where I can apply my undergraduate studies, pursue a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or be certified as a prosthetist. My dream has always been to pursue a path where I can help others. I am interested in pursuing a career working with prosthetics through rehabilitation, or design and modifications. I find the world of prosthetics to be quite interesting and open for new ideas and creations. This career path provides me with several opportunities that I would be quite proud of achieving. I would like have the patient’s input with new designs applying the engineering and theories I’ve learned to those prosthetics. Five to twenty years from now, I plan on doing all I can to better my education and to help those my efforts can reach. Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. Dale S. Feldman

High School: Sparkman High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks

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Graduate Fellow Laura Gast

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PhD, Epidemiology & International Health August 2012

NASA “Long Term Land-use Change in Puerto Maldonado, Peru and Its Implications for Dengue Surveillance and Control: Testing Pixel-Based vs Object-Based Remote Sensing Classification Systems� Research Abstract: Remote sensing technology is ideally suited for use in infectious disease surveillance and control, particularly for many of the vector-borne diseases often found in developing nations. It has been proven that rapid urbanization and destruction of natural habitats for agricultural purposes, as well as the loss of biodiversity, are linked to poor human health. Not only are these factors associated with increases in pollution and poor sanitation, they are associated with increased distribution and proliferation of vectors for disease due to the creation of breeding habitats and increased human-vector interactions. Remote sensing analysis has the ability not only to elucidate these environmental changes but also to distinguish discrete breeding habitats for mosquito vectors of disease. Dengue, a potentially fatal disease transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito, is an important and rapidly growing health problem worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that 2.5 to 3.5 billion people are at risk for dengue infection, resulting in 50 to 100 million cases of dengue fever, 500,000 cases requiring hospitalization, and at least 12,000 deaths per year. Since no vaccine or chemotherapy for dengue infection currently exists, programs for prevention and control of dengue are dependent solely on reducing breeding habitats for the vector. As resources for these vector control programs continue to diminish world wide, novel, cost-effective, and customized surveillance and treatment regimes must be created for each unique region. It is the goal of this study to compare the accuracy of pixel-based classification versus object-based classification for the purposes of describing the change in land use and land cover in the southern Amazonian city of Puerto Maldonado, Peru. This investigation aims to contribute to fulfilling the ever-growing need for novel, cost-effective and highly efficient broadscale surveillance technologies for dengue. This proposal is written to meet the program objectives of NASA ROSES-2010 Earth Science Applications Feasibility Studies: Public Health (Section A.31), to determine the feasibility of using NASA satellite imagery in the surveillance and control of an emerging infectious disease. Hometown: Birmingham, Alabama Congressional District: OK 1 Advisor: Dr. Sarah Parcak

High School: Bartlesville High School, Bartlesville, OK Congressional Representative: John Sullivan 40

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham

Graduate Fellow Sarah Thomas PhD, Physics December 2012

“Rare Earth Materials Under Extreme Conditions� Research Abstract: The behavior of materials under extreme conditions is an important issue for scientific study because of the impact it has on various fields, including Earth and planetary science. In particular, high-pressure studies of materials can lead to a better understanding of the modification of their chemical and physical properties. The pressure at the center of the earth is 360 GPa, and the temperature is around 5,000K. Experiments using diamond anvil cells (DACs) can create pressures exceeding 100 GPa, which approach conditions at the center of the earth, and can give valuable insight into geophysical phenomena. DACs are also valuable in investigating pressureinduced changes such as transformations of the crystal structure, insulator-to-metal transitions, and superconductivity. The research I propose is to perform electrical and structural studies of rare earths at low temperature and high pressure using a designer DAC, with the objective to better understand the magnetic transitions of these materials under high pressures and how they correspond to structural changes in the material. I will also perform x-ray diffraction measurements on dysprosium at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory in order to better understand the low symmetry monoclinic phase found at high pressures. Hometown: Trussville, Alabama Congressional District: AL 6 Advisor: Dr.Yogesh Vohra

High School: Shades Valley High School Congressional Representative: Spencer Bachus

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Campus Director Dr. Gerald R. Karr

Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Undergraduate Scholar Paul Ferguson

BS, Biology/Chemistry May 2012

Career Goals: My short-term career goal is to complete a PhD in five years. When I started at UAHuntsville I aspired to becoming a scientist and work in Biotechnology. I cannot honestly say that I was fully cognizant of what Biotechnology meant. During the time that I have been a University student, I have worked in a lab performing protein design, site directed mutagenesis, polymerase chain reaction, creating recombinant proteins, a multitude of analytical techniques in spectroscopy, chromatography, electrophoresis, and etc. I feel naturally gifted with science and it brings me sheer delight above anything else I have experienced. I am currently learning about synthetic molecular biology, and as a project for a class, I am designing a synthetic recombinant protein to use against HIV. This is not something I have to do, but this is something I get to do. I can think of no better way to spend the next five years continuing to learn new things every day and performing the scientific research that I love. Considering long term career goals is less simple. I have a wife,Tara, and two children, Miranda (7) and Sebastian (4), and they are the center of my world. I love science, but it would be ridiculous to think that my family would not be primary in my life. I say this all to preface my plan of the next 20 years. I feel that if I were a single man I would most likely aim for graduate school in California and a post-doc in Europe, but I am not a single man. North Alabama is my home; I was raised here from the age of one. I have parents and grandparents here. My wife’s family is here, as are many dear and close friends. I am a non-traditional student because I chose to experience life for several years. I lived in various locations around the country; and I always made a point to live in beautiful places. Sedona, AZ was my favorite of all the places I lived. After my son was born he had a myriad of health problems requiring extended hospital stays. This was a difficult time; we had friends but no family to rely upon. After he was healthy, we moved back to Alabama to be close to family. I feel that my parents and my children should know each other. For this reason among many I do not intend to leave this area for a great many years. I may retire to some far off destination, but for the next few decades I foresee living and working in Huntsville. This works out beautifully for me since I am naturally adept at genetics and molecular biology, and thanks to the Hudson Alpha Center for Biotechnology, pushing to make this area the center for biotech research in the country. I get very excited that I get to be part of a cutting edge science that has such an incredible potential to advance humanity as a species. The anticipated breakthroughs in cellular engineering alone (achieved by synthetic biology) could realistically solve both food and energy problems within the next 10-20 years, not to mention the development of new drugs that will be able to solve a number of medical conditions and diseases. So in answer to the question of where I see myself in 20 years, I expect to live in a much better world and I want to be one of the people that made it that way.

Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. Robert L. McFeeters

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High School: Muscle Shoals, Alabama Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks 43

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville Undergraduate Scholar Tara Ferguson

BS, Earth System Science May 2012

Career Goals: My short term career goals are to gain employment in the field of Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing (GIS). Ideally, I would work for NASA using GIS and Remote Sensing to examine and map planets, satellites of those planets, and maybe even exoplanets. If I am not able to work for NASA, I would like to at least work with the aerospace industry in some fashion, even if it is just using satellite data to find patterns using GIS or to find areas of interest with Remote Sensing. I would really like to be able to use Remote Sensing techniques to find information about other planets, such as what soil types there are, what might lie beneath the soil, or even what might be under the ice on worlds like Europa or Mimas. Remote Sensing is a specialty that is often overlooked, and I would like to take advantage of the many things that it can do to provide us with information. I recently had the chance to meet the head of DLR Neustrelitz, one of the sites of the German space agency, and from him I learned of some of the things the European space agencies are doing with GIS and Remote Sensing. I would like the chance to go and work with them on some of their projects, such as using pseudolites to increase ground resolution to as little as 3 cm (from the usual 1 m) and their bathymetry techniques where they use a combination of GIS and Remote Sensing to map out daily seafloor charts to protect their shipping industry. I would like to see the use of pseudolites made more common, as this resolution difference is the difference of knowing that there might be a person on the ground at 1 m and reading the headline of this person’s newspaper with 3 cm. This technology could be invaluable for everything from thwarting terrorism to finding survivors after an earthquake. My third option for a short-term career goal is to work with UAHuntsville’s own Servir lab, which uses GIS and Remote Sensing to help underprivileged people in Latin America with everything from storm tracking to digitizing old photographs taken by Charles Lindbergh. Dr. Tom Sever, who is heavily involved with the Servir lab, is one of the pioneers of Remote Sensing, having used it originally for archaeological research, and it would be an honor to work with him. My long-term career goals are to use Remote Sensing to search other planets for life. Twenty years from now, I hope that we have the technology to image all of the exoplanets that are currently being discovered. If we can image these planets using satellites, then Remote Sensing can determine if these planets contain life of any sort, using the different electromagnetic signatures of the planet. I want to be the one to determine whether or not a distant planet has life. If that doesn’t work out, I will want to work in the aerospace industry in some form or fashion, preferably in a high position, using GIS and Remote Sensing together to organize information in whatever interesting new ways this technology will allow us to use in the next 20 years.

Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama Congressional District: FL 4 Advisor: Dr. Donald Perkey

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High School: Lee High School, Jacksonville, FL Congressional Representative: Ander Crenshaw 44

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville Undergraduate Scholar Brady Hood

BS, Physics/Mathematics May 2012

Career Goals: My main areas of interest are theoretical physics and the testing of these theories. I am very interested in developing new forms of propulsion as a method to explore and discover new things in our galaxy. One of the biggest challenges in physics is harnessing fusion power, and if done, could be used to provide a great power source for spaceships. I am also a secondary math major and am very interested in theoretical and abstract math, especially when it is physics related. I also find things like space-time, the various manifestations of energy, and how symmetry applies to these very fascinating. While I have always had a passion for physics, I have had work experience from manual labor to chef to management. From these varying situations I have gained experience and been trained in dealing with people, safety, and overall ethics first hand. I have a general passion for learning and believe there is something to be learned from everyone. I value liberal arts as much as I do science, and try as much as I am able to interact with various cultures and gain their insights, so that they might provide new ways to interpret my curiosities in physics. Another goal is to do more research as an undergraduate.The most rewarding educational experience I have had in science was during my recent summer research experience through my university’s REU program. I worked with a distinguished professor of both physics and chemistry at my college on a topic studied through chemical physics. It is a necessary quality of a good scientist to know how to properly approach and attack a problem; and from this valuable experience I tested and greatly improved this quality in myself. I want to study particle physics and astrophysics. After completing my Bachelor’s and Master’s at UAHuntsville, I would like to choose a location for my PhD and post doctoral positions that would be focused on particle physics. Since there are many cutting edge research facilities overseas such as CERN, I am interested using postdoctoral positions as a chance to travel outside of the country. My long-term goal would be a profession as a research professor. It is the great questions in science that have led me into physics and I like to be directly involved with probing these unknowns. Experimental research provides methods to ask questions in science where no person may be able to answer from knowledge or intuition alone. Experiments also often provide means for collaboration among diverse areas of science as well as with others having experience in one’s own specialty. In addition to expert company helping to understand a subject, teaching a subject provides an opportunity to refine an idea by finding new and inventive ways to explain it to others. Also, it trains new experts in a subject who further provide insight into the topic. I believe that one of the best ways to solve questions in science is to be immersed as a research professor.

Hometown: Decatur, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. Carol Strong

High School: Decatur High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks 45

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Undergraduate Scholar Hassan Robert Liaghati BS, Physics May 2012

Career Goals: Ever since I was a little boy, I have been fascinated by how things work, whether it is a light bulb, a motor, or gravity. However, as I grew older, what really began to captivate my interest was the underlying reason for the way things work. While these interests have led me to understand that I want to study physics, it has also helped me to understand that I wish to devote my time to conducting research and development in the field of physics. With my main interest being research, I have made a long-term goal, one that feels natural to me, of conducting research in a field of space related optics. Some specific fields of space related optics I am interested in are using lasers for communication and astronomical applications such as gravity wave detectors. As my long-term goal is in research, my short-term goals include graduating with my BS in Physics and continuing on to my Master’s degree and PhD while conducting research on the side. After achieving this, I intend to conduct postdoctoral research in a space related optics field. Given my many career and personal goals, I intend to make as much use of my time as an undergraduate as I can. I have not only planned my four year schedule so that I can take all of the physics and optics classes that I feel will help me to achieve these goals, but have also been involved in research efforts at UAHuntsville that will expose me to the research field in which I plan to spend the rest of my career. Beginning the first semester of my freshmen year, I began working with Dr. Duan in an optical research field,High Precision Laser Physics, and I have continued to participate in research activities while completing my full-time course load. Due to arrangements I made with Dr. Duan, I was allowed to continue my research efforts in the High Precision Laser Physics laboratory during the summer semester. My long-term goal mainly includes performing space related optics research. In order to achieve this, my short-term goal includes completing my undergraduate degree, continuing to graduate school, and finally my postdoctoral research. By making the most of my time as an undergraduate, I am confident that I will reach my goals. Hometown: Huntsville, Alabama Congressional District: AL 5 Advisor: Dr. Carol Strong

High School: Virgil I. Grissom High School Congressional Representative: Mo Brooks

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Undergraduate Scholar Samantha Shine

BS, Industrial and Systems Engineering May 2013

Career Goals: As a co-op student working at NASA MSFC, my main goal is to earn a conversion and continue my work at MSFC after graduation. Also, I would like to continue my studies towards a Master’s Degree in Statistics, Engineering Management, Human Factors Engineering, or MBA. I spent my first two semesters at NASA in the Mission Ops Lab, and I am currently working in the Stage Analysis Branch with the human factors engineering team. I am highly interested in the work I have been doing, particularly my work with human factors engineering. If I am converted to full time employment at NASA after graduation. I would like to rotate to different departments within MSFC and possibly do a rotation at Johnson Space Center. I am very interested in the human factors work and astronaut training taking place at JSC. I would also like to continue working with Engineers Without Borders. I have explored this organization while at UAHuntsville, and would love to take my participation to the next level after graduation as a professional engineer. In 20 years, I would like to earn a Doctorate degree. I plan to continue my career at NASA MSFC, and my long-term goal is to become a Branch Chief. I am a strong leader with a passion for delegation, organization, and public speech. For these reasons, I think a job as Branch Chief would be an excellent fit for my strengths and would allow me to further NASA’s mission by using my talents to the fullest. If possible, I would love to work internationally through NASA with the space agencies of other nations. Travelling the world is one of my greatest passions, and I would love to work with other nations on behalf of NASA to further both the goals of the United States and also the goals of humanity in human space flight and eventually moon colonization. I would also like to work with nations in need, possibly by working with NASA’s SERVIR program. I gained some exposure to SERVIR through a course in the Earth System Science department at UAHuntsville and am fascinated by the capability SERVIR has to aid underdeveloped nations and improve the quality of life of their people. I believe that the fields of math and science are critical to the future of the United States and the world. I would like to encourage young students, specifically female students, to take interest in the amazing things NASA does on a daily basis. I would love to be a role model to children in showing them that while math and science may be more difficult than other fields, they are very important, interesting, and worthwhile. I would also like to encourage female students that there are no limitations to women in becoming very accomplished in math, science, and engineering.

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio Congressional District: OH 2 Advisor: Dr. Gillian Nicholls

High School: Turpin High School Congressional Representative: Jean Schmidt 47

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Teacher Educator Scholar Tami Reeves

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BS, Mathematics Education May 2013

NASA Career Goals: Even before I started Kindergarten I wanted to be a teacher. I would play pretend school with my family and friends on every occasion. When it came time for me to actually start school, I was extremely excited and I loved attending. I cherished any opportunity I received to assist my teachers. I knew that my future was in the classroom even at an early age. Throughout high school I had a few amazing teachers that were a major influence to me. Because of these teachers, I decided I wanted to have a similar influence on students in the future, and I made a decision that I would, one day, teach high school. Also in high school, I took any tutoring opportunity that came my way. I loved the challenge of teaching people material that they did not understand. I worked with all age groups, but I enjoyed helping high school students out the most. Therefore, I made the decision to teach high school math. Right now, I am working on getting accepted into the teacher education program at the UAHuntsville. While I am in this program, I plan to seize any opportunity that will help me to become a more successful teacher in my future. This includes doing well in both my math and education courses, as well as getting as much time and experience as I can in schools. I want to do all that I can right now to help me in my future career as a teacher. I am fortunate to be able to fulfill my childhood dream of becoming a teacher and I am confident that, once I finish college, I will have my own classroom with students who look to me as their math teacher. I have been very blessed with many experiences to help me to one day get to this point. I look forward to one day making a difference in the my students’ life. Hometown: Arab, Alabama Congressional District: AL 4 Advisor: Mrs. Elizabeth Bowman

High School: Arab High School Congressional Representative: Robert Aderholt

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Graduate Fellow Ashley Campbell PhD, Physics May 2014

“Cosmology via Joint Analysis of Chandra X-Ray and Sunyaev-Zel’dovich Observations of the Galaxy Cluster Mass Function” Research Abstract: Studies of the galaxy cluster mass function are the primary method for obtaining cosmological constraints. When coupled with data collected from Chandra, the SunyaevZel’dovich (SZ) effect can be used to determine these cluster mass functions. An accurate, fully calibrated method for determining cluster mass functions based solely on SZ data has yet to be formulated. I propose to develop an effective method by calculating the integrated pressure from existing SZ effect data and calibrating these against accurately determined cluster masses from archival Chandra X-ray data. This research is improving upon previous cluster mass calibrations by incorporating the following: (1) analysis of galaxy clusters within a complete sample of 35 clusters; (2) use of modern cluster models; and (3) an ultimate determination of the cluster mass function. The ability to determine cluster masses directly from SZ effect observations will ultimately be valuable in accurately calculating the mass of clusters at high redshift, where X-ray data becomes prohibitively difficult to obtain. Hometown: Morristown, Tennessee High School: Morristown-Hamblen High School West Congressional District: TN 1 Congressional Representative: Phil Roe Advisor: Dr. Massimiliano Bonamente

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The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Graduate Fellow Brian Sweeney

PhD, Mechanical Engineering August 2014

“Liquid Rocket Combustion Stability Study� Research Abstract: The objective of the research described in the proposal titled Liquid Rocket Combustion Stability Study is to find key parameters that govern combustion instability of liquid rocket engines that can be adequately used in sub-scaled hot-fire experiments. Combustion instability develops as spontaneous pressure and temperature oscillations in the combustion chamber which can cause damage or destruction of rocket engine hardware. The mechanisms that govern combustion instability are extremely complex and are not well understood. Full-scale rocket engine experiments give the most complete and accurate results but are very expensive. Therefore, sub-scale experiments are used in the bulk of combustion instability research. Scaling techniques have proven to be valuable in fundamental research of combustion processes and are used to test new hardware during rocket engine development. This research proposes the use of two sets of experiments that will test and characterize a university designed liquid rocket injector. The first set, tests the injector in a sub-scale single-element low-pressure combustor using gaseous propellants. This test methodology uses the fact that large liquid rocket engines operate at supercritical conditions enabling the use of a relatively simple low-pressure combustion analogy. The experiment has been designed to characterize the stability behavior of the injector over a wide range operating conditions. From this experiment, operating regimes that cause stable and unstable combustion will be determined.The second experiment set, tests the injector in a single-element rocket engine using supercritical propellants. The operating conditions of several stable and unstable set points from the low-pressure experiment will be tested. This experiment will help determine if the predictions found with the low-pressure combustor are repeatable at the supercritical operating conditions of a full-scale rocket engine. The rocket tests will also help determine which fluid and/or geometric scaling parameters are most important for sub-scale lowpressure experiments to replicate and identify design improvements that can be made to the low-pressure methodology. This research can aid in furthering the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that create combustion instability. If the important scaling parameters can be found, it may be possible to use a relatively inexpensive and simple sub-scale low-pressure test methodology to replicate those conditions and determine the stability characteristics of various liquid rocket injector designs. That would allow the low-pressure scaling methodology to be used as both a research and design tool.

Hometown: Torrance, California Congressional District: CA 36 Advisor: Dr. Robert A. Frederick

High School: West High School Congressional Representative: Janice Hahn 50

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University of South Alabama

Campus Director Dr. John W. Steadman Dean, College of Engineering

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University of South Alabama

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Undergraduate Scholar Daniel Martin

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BS, Electrical Engineering May 2013

NASA Career Goals: After completing my Electrical Engineering degree, I plan to be employed in the field of robotics. My long-term plans include a graduate degree specializing in Robotics after some experience in the field. I am very interested and passionate about the field of robotics anywhere from humanoid to the amazing things being done in the medical field using robotics as telepresence surgeons. Hometown: Atmore, Alabama Congressional District: AL 1 Advisor: Dr. Aurangzeb Khan

High School: Atmore Christian School Congressional Representative: Jo Bonner

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University of South Alabama

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Undergraduate Scholar Sarah Naylor

NASA Career Goals: My immediate goals include developing a well-rounded college career and a professional skill set as well as gaining technical experience in the engineering field through research and internships. When I complete my undergraduate studies, my next goal is to obtain a PhD in either Mechanical or Biomedical Engineering. I want to perform biomedical or mechanical engineering research as a student and possibly as a career. I am currently interested in robotics, gait analysis, muscle movement, and programming. Presently I am involved in research at USA and in many engineering societies and service organizations. I am the chapter president of the USA Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the secretary of both USA’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Engineering Deans council. Through my position in SWE, I am improving important leadership and networking skills, which will serve me in the field. I am able to provide opportunities for students and professionals to interact through a career fair, which we arrange at the conferences we attend. SWE also makes an impact within our community by encouraging middle and high school students to pursue a STEM field through workshops. The USA Deans council is an organization composed of the presidents from all of the societies within the college of engineering. We work collectively to keep everyone updated on each other’s organizations and to fulfill tasks given to us by the Dean of the College of Engineering. The main purpose of this organization is to serve the students. My favorite aspect of the council is that we work together to accomplish greater tasks than our organizations could do alone. I have also worked as a supplemental instructor for Statics, a peer assistant for an introduction to engineering seminar, and the physics lab assistant. Through these jobs, I have developed a strong understanding of fundamental engineering concepts, the ability to breakdown and explain more complicated concepts, and skills in handling lab equipment properly. Finally, a central component of the USA Honors program is research. To graduate with Honors, we are required to develop an undergraduate thesis. My thesis and primary research is with Dr. David Nelson developing an inexpensive, non-contacting temperature measurement device suitable for use in Millimeter Wave Flowmetry. I would also like to pursue a summer internship or temporary research position with another university to increase my engineering knowledge and technical skills.

Hometown: Pensacola, Florida Congressional District: FL 1 Advisor: Dr. F. Carroll Dougherty

High School: Pensacola High School Congressional Representative: Jeff Miller

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University of South Alabama

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Undergraduate Scholar Richard Salter

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BS, Mechanical Engineering May 2013

NASA Career Goals: Upon completion of my Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of South Alabama, my goal is to work in private industry or for a government agency. Currently, my interests lie in a variety of different fields. Aerospace-related fields such as airplane construction plus shipbuilding and design are chief among my interests. Airbus, Austal, and NASA are all examples of companies/federal agencies that I would like to work for upon graduation.When entering the workforce, I plan on starting at the bottom and gradually working my way to the top. Despite my position, I want to constantly be involved in the design of new products and technologies. In approximately 20 years, I plan on being a professional engineer while having a family and being involved in my community. I would also like to work toward my Master’s degree or PhD in Mechanical Engineering or some Engineering-related field if it were to be paid for by my company of employment. Hometown: Theodore, Alabama Congressional District: AL 1 Advisor: Dr. F. Carroll Dougherty

High School: Theodore High School Congressional Representative: Jo Bonner

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University of South Alabama

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Undergraduate Scholar Ryan Stonecypher

AM

BS, Mechanical Engineering May 2012

NASA Career Goals: Career wise, my short-term goal is to complete my undergraduate degree and then to pursue one of two options.The first option is to begin a career in industry following graduation. Presently, I am working as a Co-op for BASF and really enjoy the work I am doing. I believe there is a good chance I could be offered a full time job with this company upon graduation. However, this is not the only employment opportunity I will be considering. I have a strong interest in aerospace engineering and will be considering avenues in this field as well. Because of this interest, the second option I am considering is pursuing a Master’s degree in aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama. I am currently taking an aircraft design class and find it fascinating. I would love to further my studies on this subject. Personally, over the next five years I plan to become the best I can be mentally, physically, and ethically. I plan on working hard in these areas so that, five years from now, I will have the solid foundation necessary to build a career. More importantly, my goal is to have a successful and fulfilling career as an engineer. In twenty years, I want to feel that my work has been worthwhile and beneficial to others, while also being enjoyable. Hometown: Mobile, Alabama Congressional District: AL 1 Advisor: Dr. F. Carroll Dougherty

High School: Murphy High School Congressional Representative: Jo Bonner

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University of South Alabama

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Undergraduate Scholar Quan Tran

NASA Career Goals: My plan for the next five years is to graduate at the top of my class with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.Then, I would like to pursue a career in the energy industry to make the world a better place by increasing sustainability through engineering. I have done undergraduate research on solar energy and found that my passion is in the alternative energy field. My plan is to secure a position with a company that has an alternative energy sector and gain valuable experience working in this industry. As I advance further in my career, I plan to go back to school and continue my education in order to reach higher altitudes within my field. I believe my goals complement the aerospace industry because space flight and the day-to-day operations of satellites require the extensive use of energy. As the world pushes towards more sustainable methods of power generation and ground transportation, I believe space flight must also find ways to utilize energy more efficiently. My long-term goal is to own an alternative energy consulting firm and become an authority in the field. I believe I can add to the aerospace industry by conducting research to find alternate ways to launch and power space crafts. I would also like to explore how to use energy more efficiently by using new materials to reduce aircraft weight. Although my long-term plans are not directly in the aerospace industry, I believe that the research that I plan to conduct through my firm can substantially aid in their pursuits. As the international space station expands and human colonization of space becomes more possible, ways to intelligently use and produce energy will become more important than ever. Hometown: Theodore, Alabama Congressional District: AL 1 Advisor: Dr. F. Carroll Dougherty

High School: Theodore High School Congressional Representative: Jo Bonner

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University of South Alabama

Graduate Fellow Daniel O’Keefe

MSE, Chemical Engineering May 2012

“Dynamics and Control of Fuel Cell Systems” Research Abstract: In this proposal, an in situ hydrogen production and fuel cell power system, will be analyzed from a systems viewpoint and the results of this analysis will be used to fabricate a prototype system. The novelty of this research lies in the fact that the entire system is being considered from a systems engineering viewpoint with realistic constraints. Past work has typically focused on only one subsystem and the interaction between systems has been ignored. At the end of this research, a fuel cell system that utilizes a renewable resource and is capable of operating portable devices at several different power ranges will be developed. Proper engineering design and optimization can result in the development of a fuel cell system that is inexpensive, easy to operate, gives off minimal emissions and is easy to dispose off. Career Goals: My short-term career goals are dedicated to finishing graduate school on time. My hope is that I am able to maintain a high GPA and graduate at the top of my class. Upon graduation, my future is not quite as planned out. Although I intend to seek out a successful career, either in industry doing R&D or in the government with an environmental agency, my future goals will in many ways be affected and modified to meet the need and desires of my wife so that she too may have a successful career. Regardless of where I end up, many of my beliefs and morals will play into my future career. As a chemical engineer, I stand at a crossroads between the industry’s desires to increase profits and my own personal desire to protect and preserve the world we live on. The greatest benefit of my career future, however, is that I will be in a position to bring these two (often competing) interests into focus, and finding paths that benefit both parties.

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama High School: Western Branch High School, Chesapeake,VA Congressional District: VA 4 Congressional Representative: Randy Forbes Advisor: Dr. Srinivas Palanki 57

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University of South Alabama FEL

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Graduate Fellow Alexander Scruggs

NASA “Microtensile Testing Stage Design for Improved Thermo-Mechanical Analysis of Composite Specimens� Research Abstract: As long as composite materials are integrated into an ever-increasing number of engineering designs; the greater the need to understand their capabilities. Tensile tests of these composite specimens can be used to determine several mechanical properties including modulus, yield strength and ultimate strength of each tested material. Microtensile testing stages are small-scale devices designed to view microscopic changes inside the sample during testing. A compact testing stage is ideal due to small sample sizes and relatively low power input for stress application.This minimizes the amount of material required to perform each test while also reducing the power input needed for the testing device. Classical tensile tests assume that all tested materials are isotropic, elastic materials. Composites are typically considered edorthotropic and viscoelastic materials.Therefore, any mechanical property data evaluated under the typical testing assumption is inaccurate. Viscoelastic materials have both elastic and viscous properties that attribute to their strain response. Elastic materials exhibit a linear strain response to stress, while the strain response of a viscous material is time dependent (nonlinear). Considering that viscoelastic materials exhibit a blend of these strain properties it can be easily seen that the strain response for composites is time dependent as well. Therefore, in order to obtain accurate mechanical properties for tested composites, the microtensile stage design must be able to perform dynamic tests through stress oscillation. The purpose of this research project is to create a microtensile stage that can accurately determine the mechanical properties of a tested composite specimen by viewing the deformation response with variations in applied stress, operating temperature and load oscillation frequency. Material comparisons can be analyzed by simulating the actual temperature and/or vibrational loading encountered in real-world design applications through user control. The heat addition to the proposed testing chamber will be provided by preconditioned air at very low flow rate. Convection heating is ideal to minimize temperature gradients within the sample, as well as, minimizing the addition of unwanted vibration. Dynamic or quasi-static loading, under current design considerations, will be applied to the tested specimen by an AC drive motor via pneumatic wedge grips. Digital image correlation, along with more conventional methods, will be used to precisely measure strain, as well as providing 3D images of the surface changes during testing. Upon completion, this device will provide a fascinating tool for demonstrating and calculating thermo-mechanical effects on composite materials.

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama Congressional District: MS 4 Advisor: Dr. Gail D. Jefferson

High School: Stone High School Congressional Representative: Steven Palazzo 58

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Tuskegee University

Campus Director Dr. Gregory V. Murphy

Department of Electrical Engineering

Professor

Instructor

Dr.Vascar G. Harris Aerospace Science & Engineering

Mr. Eldon Triggs, II Aerospace Science & Engineering 59

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Tuskegee University

Undergraduate Scholar Troy Cole

BS, Aerospace Science Engineering May 2012

Career Goals: My short-term career goals are to get my aviation career off the ground. I plan to become an Air Force pilot officer and fly aircraft such as the F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22 Raptor, A-10 Thunderbolt II, C-17 Globemaster III, and the U-2. I plan to earn both my Master’s degree and PhD in Aerospace Engineering during my Air Force career. After gaining enough pilot-in-command flight hours, my goal is to enroll at the Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards AFB and work as a test pilot. By the end of the five years, I plan to apply for the astronaut candidacy program with NASA or a commercial spaceflight corporation. My long-term goals are a little more ambitious. In 20 years I plan on being a career astronaut, commanding spacecraft, exploring the solar system while transporting cargo, surveying asteroids for possible mining, or adjusting the orbit of potentially harmful asteroids away from Earth. When I am not on deep-space missions, I would make shorter Earth to Moon trips, inter-space station trips, and some Earth to Orbit trips.

Hometown: San Francisco, California Congressional District: CA 8 Advisor: Dr. Javed Kahn

High School: George Washington High School Congressional Representative: Nancy Pelosi

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2011-2012 NAA-ASGC Scholars and Fellows  

Alabama Space Grant Consortium Undergraduate Scholarship, Teacher Education Scholarship and Graduate Fellowship Awardees