The NSF GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based graduate degrees. As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation associated with the GRFP follows recipients for years to come and often assists them in becoming life-long leaders that contribute significantly both to scientific innovation and teaching. Meet our NSF GRFP and other esteemed scholarship recipients below.
2022 Award Recipients
I am currently a mechanical engineering Ph.D. student at CU Boulder in the BEEM Lab led by Greg Whiting.
My current research focuses on biosensing through the use of printed, conformal electronics. Specifically, we are designing electronics to study plant responses to different, potentially stressful, environments.
Applications for my research range from improving plant growth and crop yields for future space missions to monitoring carbon sequestration in large-scale carbon farming endeavors on Earth.
I am a first-year Ph.D. student studying mechanical engineering and working in Peter Hamlington’s Turbulence and Energy Systems Laboratory (TESLa).
My group uses computational fluid dynamics to simulate complicated flows in a wide variety of applications. My research involves simulating flames in extreme environments, such as those found in aviation applications. By using computers to simulate these conditions, we obtain insight into the chemistry and physics in ways that are difficult or impossible to capture using traditional experimental techniques. While simulations give amazing insight, they can be very expensive, and so my group also focuses on techniques and modelling strategies that allow these simulations to be tractable.
Using these simulations, I hope to contribute to our understanding of greener alternatives to typical fuels such as gasoline and jet fuel. I am honored to be a recipient of the NSF GRFP award and look forward to the opportunities that it will provide.
2021 Award Recipients
As a biomedical engineer by training, I am interested in the intersection of electromagnetism and biomechanics to evaluate joint health for healing disease and optimizing performance. As a mechanical engineering PhD student and research assistant in the Soft Tissue Bioengineering Lab led by Corey Neu, my research focuses on the noninvasive measurement of cartilage electromechanical properties by MRI.
Specifically, we are probing for new diagnostic biomarkers of osteoarthritis at the earliest stages with custom-built MRI-compatible loading devices for in vivo applications. Tremendous potential exists in the translation of the imaging methods and algorithms we are developing, especially since it will expand our understanding of the solid mechanics and electrokinetic influence on ionic and interstitial fluid flow in cartilage and osteoarthritis.
I’m excited about my research because of the future discoveries and technology developments that could help people ranging from patients to astronauts.
I am an incoming mechanical PhD student this fall at CU Boulder.
I will be working with Sean Humbert in the Bio-Inspired Perception and Robotics Laboratory. My research will focus on rotary, fixed and flapping MAV flight dynamics and controls. Specifically, I will be manipulating a control system using hydraulically amplified self-healing electrostatic (HASEL) actuators to mimic the biomimetic movements in bird wings.
With this research, I hope to improve the reaction of MAV flight to react to unpredictable gusts of wind more efficiently.
I am an incoming PhD student in mechanical engineering and will be working in Greg Rieker’s Precision Laser Diagnostics for Energy and the Environment Lab.
My research objective will be to develop a portable laser that monitors atmospheric toxics. Various pollutants can be detected with mid-infrared (mid-IR) electromagnetic waves, but laser-based sensors must be improved to function in the mid-IR range while being small enough to operate in the field.
I aim to have this technology help cities, companies and countries analyze how they affect air quality at local and global scales, and I am looking forward to beginning my PhD research.
I am a first-year graduate student working toward a PhD in Mechanical Engineering.
My research is at the intersection of biology and mechanical engineering. My research focuses on the study of supportive ligaments in the female reproductive study in order to better understand how pelvic organ prolapse occurs. My research examines how these ligaments change during pregnancy and with other factors (age, parity: the amount of times a women has given birth, exercise, etc.) I am trying to quantify the mechanical strength of the ligaments as well as understand what happens to the extracellular matrix components of the ligament.
Throughout my PhD research, I hope to elucidate the mechanisms that lead to failure in the ligaments, resulting in prolapse.
I am a first-year biomedical engineering PhD student working in Sarah Calve’s Musculoskeletal Extracellular Matrix Laboratory.
My current research explores proteomic changes in developing mouse hindlimbs, focusing on how mechanical loading resulting from embryonic motility affects the development of the tendon-bone enthesis.
I plan to translate this research to study the spatiotemporal proteome distribution and mechanical properties of the glial and fibrotic scars after traumatic spinal cord injury.
I am currently a senior in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics. As an undergraduate at CU Boulder, my advisor was Mark Rentschler in the Advanced Medical Technologies Lab.
Beginning in fall 2021, I will be pursuing my PhD at Carnegie Mellon University in Engineering and Public Policy conducting research with the Electricity Growth and Use In Developing Economies (e-GUIDE) Initiative. My research will aim to leverage machine learning, GIS and data analytics to develop electricity demand models and tools to plan and operate electricity infrastructure in developing regions.
This work has applications for the deployment of electricity infrastructure to improve agricultural productivity in East Africa.
Thomas & Brandon Geers Graduate Fellowship
Advisor: Rong Long
Research: Understanding the nolinear mechanics of fracture, contact, adhesion and friction in soft elastomers or gels
Achievement Awards for College Scientists Fellowship
Advisor: Maureen Lynch
Research: Analyzing how the presence of bone metastatic breast cancer effects the behavior of osteocytes, paying close attention to downstream changes in bone remodeling and osteocyte apoptosis
NASA Earth Science Fellowship
Advisor: Greg Rieker
Research: Dual-frequency comb absorption spectroscopy of gasses at high temperatures and pressures
National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program
Advisor: Peter Hamlington
Research: Local dissipation scales and reduced order modeling
Eli Miller, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2022
Brittany Nixon, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2022
Shreya Venkatesh, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2022
Andrew Yeang, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2019
Kristin Calahan, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2018
Karl Johannes, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2018
Nate Malarich, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2018
Stephanie (Ellyse) Schneider, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2018
Adrienne Scott, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2018
Brian Welch, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2018
Gregory Formosa, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2016
J. Micah Prendergast, NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, 2014