Seven Clark School Students Win NSF Research Fellowships

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded seven A. James Clark School of Engineering students with its prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship:

Eric Kim, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Department of Physics, undergraduate double major
Kim's research focuses on cooperative robotics and control systems. As an undergraduate student, he observed robots teams to discover how they work better than individual robots. He also sought to enforce safety constraints to prevent problems, such as crashes, for robots with non-deterministic dynamics. During his senior year, Kim completed an Undergraduate Research Fellowship and his final presentation, "Control Strategies for Cooperative Robots," helped to secure his NSF award. Kim will pursue his graduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley.

Matthew Marcus, Department of Aerospace Engineering (AE)
Marcus' research interests include wireless power transfer, advanced spacecraft propulsion systems, space robotics and space systems. Most recently, Marcus conducted departmental research pertaining to wireless power transfer using superconducting resonantly coupled coils and plans to continue this research for his masters thesis. In addition, Matt works part time at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with the Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office.

Bao-Ngoc Nguyen, Fischell Department of Bioengineering (BioE)
Nguyen's research focuses on tissue engineering, specifically in the area of bone tissue regeneration. Commonly used to treat bone defects caused by serious injury or trauma, bone grafts harvested from cadavers can lead to further medical issues such as disease transmission, immune system rejection and donor site morbidity. In the lab, she conducts in vitro experiments aimed at improving the healing process by providing adequate oxygen and sufficient nutrients to stimulate blood vessel development in tissue-engineered bones.

Luke Roberts, Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME)
Roberts' research is focused on actuators--motors and structures that initiate and control a robot’s movements. He is currently involved in the Robo Raven micro air vehicle project. The robotic bird includes active actuators, like motors, and passive actuators, “compliant” structures that respond to outside forces, and is the first of its kind with wings that flap independently of each other. In the Advanced Manufacturing Lab, Roberts works on developing wings that can change shape as they flap in response to differences in air pressure.

Stephen Sherman, Department of Aerospace Engineering (AE)
Sherman works in the University of Maryland Smart Structures Lab, where he conducts research on multiphase flow simulations of magnetorheological fluids, or fluids that respond to magnetic field. In the Composites Research Lab, Sherman hopes to apply these simulations to the design of magnetorheological devices for adaptive crash safety mechanisms.

Joshua Sloane, Department of Aerospace Engineering (AE)
Sloane's research takes place in the Space Power and Propulsion Lab (SPPL), where he is involved in the Space Debris Remediation project. The SPPL is evaluating a system for orbital debris remediation that uses laser ablation of an existing on-orbit derelict spacecraft to generate propulsion for its own de-orbit. Sloane's experiment involves firing a laser at a material and analyzing the ablated particulates.

Joshua Taillon, Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)
Taillon's research focuses primarily on atomic-scale characterization methods including transmission electron microscopy and electron energy-loss spectroscopy. He is currently studying silicon carbide, a material that has the potential to improve the efficiency and performance of electronic devices for high-power applications, including renewable energy, aerospace equipment, communications systems, and electric vehicles.

The oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the program supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. Each NSF Graduate Research Fellow benefits from a three-year annual stipend of $32,000 and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance paid to his or her degree-granting institution. 

Learn more about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Published June 15, 2013