Published: April 29, 2022 By

Department of Defense SealThree University of Colorado Boulder aerospace PhD students have earned prestigious 2022 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships.

Jenny Horing, Renee Spear, and Mitchell Wall are each receiving the Department of Defense award, which provides three year fellowships to promising young scientists and engineers.

NDSEG, which regognizes up to 500 people across the country each year, is designed to promote education in science and engineering disciplines relevant to the Department of Defense mission.

Find out more about our honorees' research below.

The 2022 NDSEG Honorees

Jenny Horing

Advisor: Iain Boyd
Lab: Nonequilibrium Gas & Plasma Dynamics Laboratory

Due to the extreme aerothermodynamic environment, hypersonic air-breathing vehicle designs are driven to be completely integrated systems, using the compression from the shock as the compressor for the engine. This integration creates close coupling between the flow-field, airframe and propulsion system (often a scramjet), which calls for an interdisciplinary approach for designing and analyzing the vehicle. My research aims to create a multidisciplinary tool to investigate the highly complex and coupled interactions of the fluid-thermal-structural response of the vehicle forebody and engine inlet. Additionally, I will develop a multi-objective shape optimization tool to enhance certain performance metrics such as inlet compression and overall drag, while maintaining realistic vehicle conditions such as temperature, deformation and stress within the body.

Horing is also a 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program recipient. Program rules require her to choose only one of the two programs. She has selected the NDSEG.

Renee Spear

Advisor: Natasha Bosanac
Lab: Bosanac Group

My research focuses on developing a new approach to collision-free, optimal spacecraft trajectory design within a multi-body system. While heritage methods exist for this task in geocentric operations, they are insufficient for operations in cislunar space due to increased environment complexity and sensitivity. New approaches to safe trajectory design must enable the construction of feasible and optimal paths in complex dynamical regimes while also avoiding dynamic obstacles defined by the paths of potential future hazards. My research will use multidisciplinary approaches from the fields of robotics and data mining to enable safe travel amidst cislunar space traffic, supporting robust and agile space operations.

Mitchell Wall

Advisor: Iain Boyd
Lab: Nonequilibrium Gas & Plasma Dynamics Laboratory

My research will focus on modeling flow for supersonic retropropulsion (SRP). SRP is a method that can be used for planetary reentry and is critical for landing high-mass payloads on places like Mars. Current applications of SRP are few and far between, and a better understanding of the method through computational modeling is necessary. Specifically, my work will focus on aspects of turbulence and chemistry modeling to increase our understanding of how to design reentry vehicles.