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2011-2012 Student Fellowship Recipients

 

 

University of Nebraska - Lincoln

UNL

 

 

 

Tom FrederickTom Frederick is currently a Master’s student in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He is currently a research assistant for Dr. Farritor in the Advanced Surgical Technologies Lab, developing robots for minimally invasive surgery. During his spare time, he is involved with helping the CREATE Foundation, whose mission is to inspire and prepare future engineers and scientists. Frederick’s NASA Space Grant fellowship will enable him to intern at Devicix Medical Design Firm during the summer of 2011.

 

 

Nguyen T NguyenNguyen Thao Nguyen earned her bachelor of science in biological systems engineering at University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). She is currently in a dual master degree program to pursue a master of science in Mechanical Engineering from UNL, and a master of science in Materials Engineering from University of Rouen, France.  Her current project is a collaboration of the two universities to explore the relationship between mechanical stimulations and exerted electrical conductivities of biomaterials such as polymers. She is working under supervision of Dr. Carl Nelson from the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

 

 

Nate OttenNate Otten is currently a student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. His Major is Mechanical Engineering. In the summer of 2009, he interned at Honeybee Robotics, a small aerospace mechanisms corporation in Manhattan, New York. In 2010 he spent the summer as an intern at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. In the summer of 2011, he will be an intern at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Denver, Colorado. He is also working as an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Shane Farritor in the Advanced Surgical Technologies Lab, where he aids in the development of miniature in vivo surgical robots and supporting systems.

 

Joan DreilingJoan Dreiling graduated suma cum laude in 2008 with Bachelors degrees in both physics and mathematics from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas.  She then began graduate studies in physics at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.  At UNL she works in a research group of with faculty mentor Timothy Gay studying collisions of spin-polarized electrons with chiral molecules.  The results of this work will provide valuable information regarding the molecular evolution of life, specifically why many biological molecules exhibit homochiral properties.

 

Ryan McCormickRyan McCormick is currently a student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He is currently pursuing his Masters in Mechanical Engineering. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2009. He is currently performing research in the design of miniature in vivo surgical robots for use on future space missions under the guidance of Dr. Shane Farritor.

 

Jack MondryJack Mondry graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2010. He served as a president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In spring of 2009, he was the team leader of the NASA Microgravity University project. This project involved studying effective methods of transporting an incapacitated astronaut during a lunar mission.  He is currently pursuing his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering under the direction of Dr. Shane Farritor. He is a graduate research assistant in the Advanced Surgical Technologies Lab researching robots for minimally invasive surgical procedures. He is also participating in the 2011 NASA Jet Propulsion Lab summer internship program.

 

Tyler WortmanTyler Wortman received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in May 2009 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering under faculty mentor Dr. Shane Farritor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests are in the development and application of surgical robots capable of minimally invasive surgery. During the previous two summers, Tyler participated in NASA Space Grant internships at the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab and Honeybee Robotics and Spacecraft Mechanisms. Tyler's project involves the research and development of an in vivo multi-functional miniature robot platform to perform surgery during long-term spaceflight. This miniature robotic system can be completely inserted into the peritoneal cavity through a single incision and provides a method to perform general surgical procedures during emergency medical situations in space where a surgeon is not accessible.

 

Alexandra ToftulAlexandra Toftul is currently a student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is Majoring in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. She is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Society of Women Engineers. She is also a Garmin Scholar in Electrical Engineering and an Eastman Scholar in Mathematics. This past summer she participated in a Space Grant funded internship at Marshall Space Flight Center and also recently completed a USRP internship at Dryden Flight Research Center. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering and hopes to one-day work for NASA. Alexandra is spending the summer interning at Marshall Space Flight Center and continuing to work on her project from last semester.

Isaac AndersonIsaac Anderson is Computer Engineering student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

 

 

 

 

Jacob AndersonJacob Anderson is currently a student at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He is pursuing his Master’s degree in Atmospheric Sciences. He received his Bachelor’s in Meteorology and Climatology in 2010. He is currently researching aerosols and their impact on climate. He will be attending the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center to research aerosol data quality.

 

Marina BradaricMarina Bradaric is a senior physics major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Due to her lifelong passion for the universe and curiosity about the world, she is working toward a Bachelor's degree that focuses on Astronomy and a minor in International Studies. Her main work at UNL has been as an astronomy TA and has now evolved into being a leader of the Outreach program, which involves encouraging the young generation to pursue science through presentations and hands-on demonstrations, all made possible by the NASA Space Grant.

 

 

Alan GoyzuetaAlan Goyzueta graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2011. As an undergraduate he was a National Hispanic Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar and served as a vice president of the Tau Beta Pi. He is currently pursuing his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering under the direction of Dr. Carl Nelson. He is a graduate research assistant in the Applied Mechanisms Design and Research Technologies Lab researching robots for Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) procedures.

 

Collin HolmquistCollin Holmquist is currently an undergraduate Meteorology/Climatology major at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. He works part time as a research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Jun Wang, studying aerosols and their effects on the atmosphere. Collin is a member of multiple campus groups including the American Meteorological Society. The past summer was spent as a summer intern researching volcanic ash plumes at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

 

 

Michael TrogdonMichael Trogdon is currently a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is pursuing a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics. He is currently involved in undergraduate research in both the Mathematics and Mechanical Engineering departments with projects concerning partial differential equations and finite element modeling. In September 2011, Michael will start research on the exciting new technology of Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMI) through a NASA Nebraska Space Grant Fellowship. He will investigate possible applications of BMI to the tele-operation of robots and rovers to improve human system interfaces. This work will involve a general overview of the current state of the technology and also possible avenues of application in the aerospace field in particular.

 

Megan VokalMegan Vokal is an undergraduate Computer Science student with minors in Business and Math and is currently enrolled in UNL's Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management. She works with her faculty mentor Dr. Wang on developing console applications for use in research and maintains his website.

 

 

 

Brian NeilsonBrian Neilson is pursuing a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under Professor George Gogos.  During the summers of 2009-2011, he completed field work at the UNL Haskell Agricultural Laboratory in Concord for the propane weed flaming project.  The goal of this project is to provide weed control for organic farmers through the use of propane torches that pass between the crop rows.  Brian’s project aims to combine flaming with mechanical cultivation for complete weed control in agriculture.  His work includes field testing, torch design, temperature measurements within the flaming hoods he designed, and simulations with ANSYS FLUENT computational fluid dynamics software.

 

Bryan KubitschekBryan Kubitschek is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL). He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and planning on a Masters degree in Architectural Engineering at the University of Nebraska Omaha. He is also the outreach coordinator for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics UNL student branch and a team member of the NASA University Student Launch Initiative.

 

 


Jacob ReherJacob Reher is a senior at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  Jacob will be spending the spring and summer of 2012 at a co-op with the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Design Engineering Department. He is currently involved with the AIAA Design Build Fly Team, Pi Tau Sigma, and is a second-year participant in the UNL NASA Microgravity SEED Program. His future plans are to pursue career in aerospace or green power technology.

 


Kearney LackasKearney Lackas is a senior mechanical engineering at UNL. He joined AIAA in the Fall of 2012 where he was part of the Design Build Fly team. As the University of Nebraska does not offer Aerospace Engineering, this contest, funded by a NASA Nebraska Space Grant Mini-Grant, was the only experience for aircraft design available. With the assistance of older students, Kearney was one of the lead fuselage designers. This year, Kearney is leading the contest team. The plane this year is much larger and is requiring additional supplies, time commitments, and members. Kearney Lackas plans to pursue his Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering with a career in Aerospace to follow.


John JasaJohn Jasa attended Lincoln Southwest High School before coming to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study Mechanical Engineering.  Here he is a member of Cornhusker Marching Band, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Freshman Engineering Student Advisory Board.  He wishes to pursue a career in fluid dynamics or polymer modeling.


Kyle HanquistKyle Hanquist is a senior Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he is involved with Pi Tau Sigma, UNL AIAA, engineering Student Advisory Board, and Tau Beta Pi.  Kyle interned for Senator Ben Nelson in Washington D.C.  After graduation, he plans on pursuing a graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering.

 

 


Matt MahlinMatthew Mahlin is a member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has served as an officer of the UNL  Chapter for the last two years. He is currently serving as the Chapter’s president for the 2011-2012 school year and is responsible for coordinating with all three of the chapter’s current design competition teams. In the past, he participated in the CanSat competition twice and IREC last year. Gaining experience as a leader he took charge of both the CanSat and IREC teams and saw them through to competition last year. Matthew has worked as a software development intern at the Computer Science and Engineering Department at UNL developing educational games about Virology. In the future, he plans to pursue a masters degree in Aerospace Engineering.

 

Christopher AinleyChristopher Ainley is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering at the University of Nebraska. His concentration is in acoustics. He is an event coordinator for the University of Nebraska Acoustical Society of America Student Chapter. He received his Bachelor’s in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas in May 2009.

 

 

 


Samantha Strong-HenningerSamantha Strong-Henninger is currently a Meteorology/Climatology undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  She is also minoring in Computer Science and Mathematics, and is graduating in May 2012.  She is currently both an intern for Planetary Data Incorporated and has an assistantship with Dr. Jun Wang in researching air quality, specifically looking at PM data.

 

 


Laura Judd Laura Judd is studying Meteorology/Climatology at UNL and plans to graduate in May of 2012. Laura will continue her education and attend graduate school in the fall.  Currently, she holds a Regents and Nebraska Top Scholar Scholarship. Last fall she received an Outstanding Undergraduate Award from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at UNL.  She currently have an internship at LI-COR Biosciences in their Environmental Technical Support.

 

 


Amy GehringAmy Gehring received a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Mathematics in May 2010 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Atmospheric Science under the advisement of Dr. Jun Wang at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In the summer of 2011, Amy interned at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center under the Graduate Student Summer Program.  Funded by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant Fellowship Program, she will return to GSFC for the summer of 2012 to continue her research on remote sensing of surface visibility from space.  In this research, Amy will determine the relationship between MODIS aerosol optical depth data and in situ measurements of surface visibility to further understand air quality and visibility trends in the United States.

 


Christopher KubeChristopher Kube is currently a graduate student in the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he is pursuing a PhD in applied mechanics. He has received a Bachelor of Arts in Physics at Hastings College in May 2008 and a Master of Science in Engineering Mechanics in Aug 2011. His research interests include the characterization of materials through ultrasonic inspections, nondestructive testing techniques, and ultrasonic modeling. His NASA Nebraska Space Grant fellowship project aims to develop a technique of monitoring commonly found material stresses on aircraft components. The technique is based on ultrasonic wave scattering from material’s polycrystalline microstructure. Under a loading environment, the scattered energy has been found to be proportional to the induced stresses and can be easily measured. A quantification of aircraft component stresses can lead to applications of failure prediction, lifespan analysis, and material advancements.

 

Michael HeadMichael Head graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in December of 2010. In 2009 he served as chair for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Design Competition and in 2010 served as chair president. He is currently pursuing his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering under the direction of Dr. Carl Nelson. Michael is a graduate research assistant in the Applied Mechanisms and Design Research Lab researching robots for minimally invasive surgery.

 

Alan GoyzuetaAlan Goyzueta graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in May of 2011. As an undergraduate he was a National Hispanic Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar and served as a vice president of the Tau Beta Pi. He is currently pursuing his Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering under the direction of Dr. Carl Nelson. He is a graduate research assistant in the Applied Mechanisms Design and Research Technologies Lab researching robots for Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) procedures.

 

Joan YuleJoan Yule is a junior Mechanical Engineering student attending the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Conducting research under her mentor, Dr. Linxia Gu, she has previously studied material properties of composite patches and is now studying the effects of combustion in microgravity under a NASA Nebraska Space Grant fellowship. She is currently on her second tour with NASA Johnson Space Center where she is working in the Systems Engineering Simulator (SES). The SES provides a learning environment emulating different terrains in space that allow for vehicle maneuverability training. Within the SES Joan is developing an improved digital landscape for the ROVER simulator. She will also aim to include alterations and additions to the code that will emphasize pilot/copilot capabilities as well as enhanced audio.

 


Paul MeraniPaul Merani is pursuing his doctorate in Geography at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under the supervision of Dr. Donald Rundquist.  His research focuses on using remote sensing and GIScience to quantify various aspects of ecosystem health of coastal salt marshes along the Gulf of Mexico.  Paul grew up along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and became interested coastal ecology from an early age.  He earned his B.A. from the University of Maryland before coming to UNL to begin his graduate work.  Since his research began, Paul has participated in a number of joint projects that include collaboration with many universities all across the country such as Creighton University, the University of Georgia, and Mississippi State University.  His field work has taken him to eight states along the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.  At this conclusion of his program at UNL, Paul looks forward to a future in academia where he can continue his research.

 

Victoria FreemanVictoria Freeman is a junior Biochemistry major with a chemistry minor at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. After the completion of her degree, Victoria hopes to attend the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She works in the lab of Dr. Cheryl Bailey and has since the spring of 2011. In the lab, she’s currently working on a project to determine the change in microbial communities in soil samples stored in different conditions over varying lengths of time. This research will involve two types of soil, silt and loam, and three types of storage, at -20 C, 4 C, and air drying. DNA will be extracted and analyzed at 0,1,2,4,7, and 14 days. The extracted DNA will undergo PCR, and the PCR product will be analyzed o a genetic analyzer. The resulting “fingerprints” will be compared for amount of change.

 


Sabreena LarsonSabreena Larson is currently a second year masters student at University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the Biological Chemistry department. She has a bachelors of science in Biology from Nebraska Wesleyan University. Sabreena will be starting a research project that looks at the changes in DNA and Fatty Acid profiles from soil microbial communities due to storage. This research will help to identify a storage method that causes the least amount of change to the soil microbial community profile during storage.


Niraj PatelNiraj Patel is a senior Biochemistry, Pre-medicine major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His future plans include completing a Masters degree in Biochemistry at UNL and then attending medical school to become a Pediatric Endocronologist. His project will focus on how the concentration of DNA in soil samples changes over a period of storage system. We will produce soil microbial fingerprints for three different storage systems (4oC, -20 oC, and air dried) over a period of 1 days, 2 days, 4 days, 7 days, and 14 days. This fingerprints will tell us how soil samples’ fingerprints change within storage and compare it to how it changes across different storage samples.


Elizabeth NeedelsElizabeth Needels is working towards her BS in chemistry at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.  She is an undergraduate research assistant to Dr. Chin Li Cheung. She is working on production and catalytic testing of noble metal decorated cerium oxide nanorods for use in methanol fuel cells.  Elizabeth spent the 2011 summer interning in Dr. Carlos Cabrera’s Lab sponsored by NASA and will maintain this collaboration in an interest to establish a viable method for the oxidation of methanol in fuel cells.

 


Eric FritzEric Fritz is a Senior Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Eric has interned at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California during the summers of 2011 and 2012, working in the microdevices laboratory. In addition, he interned at NASA Ames Research Center in the spring of 2012 working in the Aeromechanics department. Eric is involved in student lead organizations such as AIAA, Microgravity University, and NASA Lunabotics competition. Eric also worked part time as an engineering mechanics tutor and research assistant to Dr. Yuris Dzenis in the nanomaterials lab. Eric’s internships and participation in Microgravity University and Lunabotics is being sponsored by NASA Nebraska Space Grant. During the summer of 2012 Eric will be working on characterizing a stereoscopic endoscope during his internship at JPL. JPL is designing an endoscope to have 3D capabilities using a single imager instead of the traditional two. The system uses a series of lenses and filters to achieve a “right” and “left” image. His project focuses on the effectiveness of the system. He will be attempting to measure the crosstalk of the system, which is essentially the amount of light intended for one eye that is accidentally seen by the other eye. This is a problem for all stereoscopic systems and he will be attempting to compare the crosstalk of our system with that of other available systems.


Eric MarkvickaEric Markvicka received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in December 2011 from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering under advisor Dr. Shane Farritor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests are in the development and application of surgical robots capable of minimally invasive surgery in space. As a NASA Nebraska Space Grant summer intern Eric interned at Honeybee Robotics in New York, New York in 2008, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California in 2009, and the NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas in 2010. Currently he is developing a lightweight tool hoist for a next generation reduced gravity simulator ARGOS (Active Response Gravity Offload System) in collaboration with Johnson Space Center.

 

Joe BartelsJoe Bartels graduated from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering in December 2010. While an undergraduate he was active in several student organizations and held multiple offices including serving as the President for both UNL’s chapter of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the mechanical engineering honor society, Pi Tau Sigma. He is now pursuing a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at UNL where he is a graduate research assistant. He works under the direction of his advisor, Dr. Shane Farritor, researching the design and application of robots to perform minimally invasive surgery. His fellowship project is to design a miniature robot capable of performing tele-operated minimally invasive surgery. The robot he designs will be the first of a new generation of robots at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Advanced Surgical Technologies Lab. The design of this robot will include several improvements over previous robots including onboard motor control, internal wiring, and a new advanced control system. These improvements will help make the robot surgical system smaller, more robust, and more portable.

 


Alex AdamsAlex Adams is currently pursuing research in the usage of robots in surgery. Alex is also studying as a sophomore at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to earn his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. His fellowship research project is retro-fitting an in vivo surgical robot previously developed at the Advanced Surgical Technologies Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a force-torque sensor, data regarding the amount of force the robot utilizes during an animal surgery can be collected. This data can be used to acquire the maximum force a robotic arm must supply in order to perform a surgery so that smaller motors meeting this standard could be used in order to reduce the overall size of the robot. This data may also be used to help determine the viscoelastic properties of colon tissue for future reference.

Paul KubitscheckPaul Kubitschek is a sophomore Computer Engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is the Reporter and Safety Officer of the UNL Student Chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, as well as the Airframe Team Leader of the NASA University Student Launch Initiative at UNL. He also works at the university as an undergraduate Computer Science teaching assistant, and is a member of the Cornhusker Marching Band.

 

 

Amy JewellAmy Jewell is a Civil Engineering student attending the University of Nebraska Lincoln.  She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.  She has also actively participated as a member of the Society of Women Engineers and will be taking on the role of secretary for the academic year of 2012-2013.  She has also been named as a member of the University of Nebraska’s Deans list during all 6 of her college semesters.  As an intern at the Boeing Company, Amy will work with one of the commodities supporting the structural evaluation of the furnishing and crew rest commodities.  She will create a portfolio from the different joints and modeling techniques used in the Interior Responsibility Center.  Additionally, Amy will successfully complete CATIA V5 classes and Patran FEM 101 training.

 

Caleb BerggrenCaleb Berggren is a junior mechanical engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  In college, he is involved with the UNL NASA Microgravity SEED program, Pi Tau Sigma, and Campus Crusade.  He is also a member of the honors program and will be doing research on wireless power transfer through the UCARE program.  This research involves unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and is in cooperation with Dr. Carrick Detweiler and the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems (NIUMBUS) Lab.  During the summer of 2012, Caleb will be interning at NASA Ames Research Center in the Aeromechanics branch of the Flight Vehicle Research and Technology Division working with rotorcraft of various types.  This internship, as well as the Microgravity team, is kindly funded by the NASA Nebraska Space Grant.

 

Steven ParkisonSteven Parkison is an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in electrical engineering. He is a member of the university’s honors program, Eta Kappa Nu national honors society, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. At the University of Nebraska-Lincoln he has participated in research with the Mobile Communication and Coding lab, including developing a high-throughput system of rodent behavioral phenotyping in conjunction with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is participating in an internship at the Johnson Space Center where he will develop a camera pan/tilt unit for use in future human interfacing systems.

 

Shawn SchumacherShawn Schumacher is a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is currently entering his junior year to continue pursuing his undergraduate degree. The clubs Shawn is currently working with include the Formula SAE team and UNL’s microgravity research program. He is also a proud member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and SAE International. This summer Shawn has had to opportunity intern at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The project Shawn has been selected to work on this summer is an Intelligent Lighting Control Investigation. This project has more than one aspect to it which includes Deep Space Habitat lighting on future space missions and also lighting on the International Space Station (ISS). He will be doing research on many different light emitting diode (LED) systems to analyze their performance and reliability. Once this portion of the project is completed, he will work on integrating lighting controls into future wireless space suit configurations. Shawn is excited to be working with some of his greatest idols at a place that only seemed like a dream.

 

Timothy MastnyTimothy Mastny is currently a raising sophomore, expecting to graduate in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering. In 2011 at Norfolk High School, his physics class lead by now-retired teacher Dennis Miller received first place in district competition in the Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Math, Science competition. Timothy’s current work at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be with the Electromagnetic Compatibility Group, developing and codifying testing procedures to ensure spacecraft hardware meet flight requirements.

 

 

 


Blue Bar

University of Nebraska at Omaha

University of Nebraska at Omaha

 

 

Angela BurgettAngela Burgett is a senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) pursuing her bachelor’s degree in geology with a minor in aviation.  As a commercial pilot she has been fortunate to fly over varied landscapes, an experience which has strengthened her knowledge and skills in the field of geology.  In Angela’s time at UNO she has been a prominent member of the Geoscience Society, the UNO Maverick Chapter of Women in Aviation International, the academic honor society Delta Epsilon Iota, and is currently Vice President of UNO’s Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society.  Angela is also assisting Dr. John F. Shroder and Dr. Michael Bishop at UNO in researching the effects of topography on glaciers in the Western Himalaya of Pakistan.   Angela will be presenting preliminary research at the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting which will be held in Minneapolis, October, 2011.

 

Ben BellerBen Beller is currently a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is pursuing a Master’s degree in Biology. He received his Bachelor’s in Biology from Creighton University in May 2009. He is currently researching the fire history of Shark Bay in Western Australia using aerial and satellite imagery.

 

 

 

Alexander JamesAlexander James is a University of Nebraska at Omaha alumni currently finishing up a mathematics project with his advisor Dr. Elder. Alex has a B.S. in computer engineering and intends to pursue a higher degree in mathematics and computer science. In his time at UNO, Alex has tutored students in mathematics for three years at the Math and Science Learning Center. In the summer following his sophomore year he attended a research experience for undergraduates in Athens, Georgia. He has taken the William Lowell Putnam exam three times scoring in the top 80% across the nation. In his senior year he became involved with a research project with Dr. Elder involving Galois extensions in characteristic zero. Finally, Alex received a perfect score on the mathematics MFAT while completing his major in mathematics. Currently Alex is applying to graduate schools in mathematics and computer science while taking two courses; a seminar on Hopf Algebras and a computer science class regarding construction of programming languages.

 

Nate HuntNate Hunt joined the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility in the Fall of 2010 as an undergraduate. Previously, Nate got his Bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. During his undergraduate schooling Nate joined the Army and served a year in Iraq. He is now in his second year of a Master's Degree doing research mentored by Dr. Nicholas Stergiou. This is his second year as a NASA Nebraska fellow.  In his first year as a fellow Nate Hunt (1) created a mathematical model of walking, and (2) developed music with properties of mathematical chaos and performed motion capture data collections of subjects walking to the chaotic music. In this year's fellowship Nate will create a neural network controller for the walking model and drive the neural network oscillations with the same chaotic patterns as the chaotic music. His goal is to understand the mechanisms and benefits of chaos in human walking and how the interplay of chaos and self-organization in the neural system leads to successful control of gait.

 

Melissa EmoryMelissa Emory is currently a Master's student in the Mathematics Department at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She is a Graduate Teaching Assistant for UNO, teaching at Metropolitan Community College. Her research interests lie in the areas of Algebraic Number Theory and Arithmetic Geometry. Emory's NASA Space Grant fellowship will enable her to study the area of Hopf Algebras under the supervision of Dr. Griff Elder.

 

 

Daniel MillerDaniel Miller is an undergraduate at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, working on a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics. In the past, Daniel has done research projects in complex analysis, topos theory, and nonlinear functional analysis. He is currently studying Hopf algebras under his faculty mentor, Dr. Elder.

 

Chun-Kai HuangChun-Kai Huang is originally from Taiwan where he majored in physical therapy and joined a research group on shoulder biomechanics at Chang Gung University (CGU) in Taiwan. Chun found that it was interesting to investigate the relationship between motions and related muscle activities in human movement science. He joined the discussions at the Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory (MSRL); moreover, he also chose the topic, “Shoulder Instability,” as his bachelor’s thesis. After two years in Taiwan as a well-trained physical therapist his overall goal was to utilize his professional/academic knowledge and research skills he has since gained in Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility at UNO to science and clinical practice. In addition, his ultimate career goal is to become a well-rounded, independent researcher in the field of clinical biomechanics and rehabilitation science.

 

Tyler KlingemannTyler Klingemann is currently a senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha pursuing a bachelor’s degree in aviation with a specialization in professional flight. Tyler is the current co-captain of the university’s back to back regional champion flight team and in October he recently earned the top pilot award for the region. Tyler is also a certified flight instructor at the Millard Airport in Omaha, NE. Tyler received NASA funding to attend the University Aviation Association Policy Seminar in Washington D.C.


Michael FrickelMichael Frickel is a senior at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He is an aviation major with an emphasis in professional flight. He began flight training when he was just 17 years old and today holds a single and multi-engine commercial pilot’s license. The UAA policy seminar is a wonderful opportunity for Michael and he is very excited about working with the NASA Space Grant program. He will gain a greater understanding of how the federal government deals with aviation issues.

 

Austin DavidsonAustin Davidson joined the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility in the fall of 2010 and is an undergraduate Biology major at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  His focus in the lab is on gait and Alzheimer’s studies.  Currently he plans to finish his bachelor’s degree and continue his education. Austin will be traveling to Honolulu, Hawaii to present his research on balance in patients with Alzheimer’s disease at the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity 2012 Annual Conference. This national conference includes scientists with different academic backgrounds sharing ideas and knowledge to promote development of new and innovative research.


Joshua HaworthJoshua Haworth is in his third year as a Doctoral Research Assistant with Dr. Stergiou, working in Motor Development projects. Josh is pursuing his PhD in Occupational Health through the College of Public Health at UNMC, with a focus on Motor Behavioral Development. This year, he will be continuing work on a fellowship funded by Autism Speaks; investigating the criticality of chaos in the organization of perception-action coupling during infant motor development. Through support by NASA NE Space Grant, Joshua will pursue research into the organization of postural regulation related to sensory modulation that may be experienced during spaceflight. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Exercise Science from Miami University of Ohio.

 

Dawn OwensDawn Owens is a doctoral student in the College of Information Science & Technology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  She earned her Bachelor Science degree in Management Information Systems and her Masters in Management Information Systems – both from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Her background encompasses all aspects of software development – analysis, design, implementation, testing, maintenance, and project management.  Dawn has a strong desire to conduct research that is both relevant to other Information Technology (IT) researchers as well as IT professionals.  She is working on her dissertation in the domain of virtual teams, studying how virtual world technology affects the development of trust in those virtual teams.  The research project includes both quantitative and qualitative data analysis in the IT field and explores how technology can be utilized in team projects.  The outcomes of the research may also be helpful for those exploring the use of distance learning tools and how three-dimensional technology can be used in distance learning.  The goal of this research is to further our understanding of how VW technology capabilities (VWTCs) can affect the development of trustfulness and trustworthiness in VTs.  The research is guided by the following research question:   How does the use of VWTCs affect the development of trust in VTs?  The main contribution of this project is the conceptual model which highlights a gap in our understanding of how three-dimensional technology is adapted by people and how that adaptation influences trust in virtual settings.  The project contributes to existing research on trust and attempts to clarify the various trust concepts found throughout the literature.  A secondary contribution is with regard to the research methods used in the study.  The study employs both qualitative and quantitative research methods and offers a unique approach by combining multiple data sets.  The specific research design should be valuable for future research, particularly in three-dimensional technologies.

Blue Bar

University of Nebraska Medical Center

UNMC

 




Irene Suh

Irene Suh is a doctoral candidate from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) with a focus on occupational health. She is currently working at the Center for Advanced Surgical Technology, UNMC under the guidance of Dr. Ka-Chun Siu. Her research focuses on using both computer science and mathematical background to develop an educational program for training new surgeons to perform surgery using a remote robot, the DaVinci Surgical System. Irene was awarded a NASA Nebraska Space Grant to study how to reduce the impact of environmental distractions on robotic surgical performance using feedback.

 

Kerry BraderKerry Brader is currently pursuing a doctoral degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) with a focus on Cancer Biology. Kerry’s graduate thesis focuses on gaining a better understanding of the effects of phosphorylation on the regulation of homologous recombination repair proteins in response to the induction of double-stranded DNA breaks.  Of primary interest to her are the effects that these posttranslational modifications have on protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions.


Shane WurdemanShane Wurdeman is beginning his third year of his doctoral studies. He is focusing his work on pathological gait as it is influenced by external devices such as prostheses and orthoses. He is pursuing his PhD within the Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility, through the College of Public Health at UNMC. He obtained his Bachelor's in physics in 2003 from Creighton University with a health sciences focus. He received his Master's degree in prosthetics and orthotics at Georgia Institute of Technology.

 

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University of Nebraska - Kearney

UNK

 




Benjamin FullertonBenjamin Fullerton is a senior at the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a double major in physics and business administration.  He has plans to continue his education to earn a masters degree in civil engineering.  Benjamin was awarded the NASA fellowship to build and calibrate a filter paper based disdrometer. The inspiration behind this project is an experiment completed in the 1960s, which used filter paper to determine the size and distribution of raindrops.  To improve this technique, he will build a mechanical device to move the filter paper automatically during a rain event.  The filter paper will be treated with a chemical so that drops leave a stain on impact with the treated filter paper, similar to the result observed when water is spilled on standard colored tissue paper.  From the stain left by the water droplet, the original drop size can, with proper calibration, be determined.  Assuming that the relationship between the diameter of the stain and actual diameter of a water droplet can be described via a simple power-law, we will explore the true raindrop size distribution and its evolution in time and space.

 

Jason TetenJason Teten is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He is a senior majoring in Physics with a minor in Mathematics. Jason is working on a research project dealing with an experimental study of the edge-dislocation wave during diffraction of light with his faculty mentor, Dr. Liubov Kreminska.

 

 

David HayesDavid Hayes studies math, physics, and chemistry at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. David works with his faculty mentor, Dr. Liubov Kreminska, on his fellowship project.

 

 

Nathan BradyNathan Brady is an undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska at Kearney who is working towards his bachelors degree in both Physics (B.S.) and Mathematics. His goal is to graduate with honors from UNK and begin his work toward a Ph.D in Theoretical/ Astrophysics as well as a Masters degree in Mathematics. Nathan's professional aspirations are to pursue a career with NASA and have the tremendous opportunity to learn and discover new things about our universe. Nathan will be interning at the City College of New York with Dr. Kreminska and Dr. Alfano to address the problem of early detection of melanoma cancer in cells with the use of techniques in optical vortices. The scope of this research is to further develop the techniques and knowledge base needed for the use of optical vortices in spectroscopic applications.

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Creighton University

Creighton University

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam HesterAdam Hester is a senior at Creighton University and will graduate with a BS in Physics and a minor in Economics after three years of undergraduate work. He is currently the President of Creighton’s growing Physics Club. His various work experiences have allowed him to delve into information technology, educate adults with developmental disabilities and tutor adults seeking their GEDs. Adam, along with his faculty mentor Dr. Jack Gabel, Steve Kraemer of NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center and assorted colleagues, will be investigating NGC-4151, a nearby Seyfert Galaxy whose active galactic nuclei seems to excrete large outflows of ionized particles. While recent endeavors to explain the source of the outflows have suggested that these particles are ionizing so swiftly and in such a way that they appear to be moving transverse to our line-of-site, this project will seek to affirm the earlier conclusion that the particles are in fact moving outward from the AGN (Kraemer, Gabel et al, 2003) from the most recent data from the Chandra X-Ray telescope as well as new XMM data.

 

David AusterberryDavid Austerberry is a recent graduate of Creighton University with a bachelor’s degree in physics and minor in mathematics.  His undergraduate research with Dr. Jack Gabel began with an NSGC fellowship focused on broad absorption line quasars in Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra, and culminated with analysis of Hubble Space Telescope spectra of NGC 3783 and recent observations of two quasars at Kitt Peak National Observatory. He also contributed to the design a low-cost cosmic ray detector data acquisition system in his second NSGC fellowship.  As a summer intern at JPL he helped to conduct a feasibility study for a Student Collaboration Project in the proposed MoonRise sample return mission.  This past summer David assessed spectral signatures of a harmful cyanobacteria genus in the Student Airborne Research Program. David will pursue a Ph.D. in Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences with a concentration in Geosciences and Remote Sensing this fall at the University of Michigan. In the summer of 2012 David will be participating in an internship at NASA Ames. This internship will consist of a primary individual project and a secondary joint project.  His primary project will be the analysis of air quality data recently collected from an ongoing airborne science campaign including in-situ measurements of ozone.  He may also be asked to assist with ozone sensor calibration.  His secondary project will be a joint project between NASA Ames and EPA Region 9 summer interns focusing on methods of marine debris tracking using satellite imagery.

 

Michael AusterberryMichael Austerberry is a Junior Atmospheric Sciences major at Creighton University. He is pursuing minor degrees in Mathematics and Theology. The NASA Nebraska Space Grant has sponsored his summer research at the Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He will be working with Dr. S. Nowicki on computer models of the Greenland ice sheet in response to global climate change. Michael works part-time as a GED mathematics tutor, has assisted with graduate meteorological research on severe weather warning methods, and is a member of the Creighton Symphonic Band

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Chadron State College

Chadron State College

 

 

 

 

Joseph ReedyJoseph Reedy is currently a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Science in geoscience at Chadron State College. He is a firm believer in the importance of interdisciplinary study and his other interests include physics and political science. He is currently studying the groundwater-surface water interactions of Chadron Creek in northwestern Nebraska through the development and deployment of a temperature sensor array in the stream and streambed. He participated in a summer USRP internship at NASA Langley Research Center in 2010 and an internship at Sanford Underground Laboratory at Homestake in the summer of 2011.

 

Steve WelchSteve Welch is a graduate student in Geology at Chadron State College. He received a BS in Meteorology in 1986 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln then spent the next 25 years as a factory