Three MAE students receive prestigious fellowships

Posted: June 3, 2020

Ohio State Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering students Matt Bisbee, Alex Soderlund and Jordan Thayer recently received national fellowships.

Bisbee earns DOE NEUP Fellowship


Mechanical engineering major Matt Bisbee has been selected to receive a 2020 Department of Energy Nuclear Energy University Program (DOE NEUP) Fellowship Award.

Awarded to 33 students pursuing nuclear energy-related disciplines at universities across the country, the graduate fellowship includes $50,000 annually for the next three years, plus $5,000 for a summer internship.

Bisbee’s research focused on neutron imaging and was advised by Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Richard Cao. Bisbee has been working on automating neutron imaging processes.

Bisbee has one semester left before completing his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. He will start graduate school next January, where he will continue to work on neutron imaging. After graduation, he is interested in working with advanced reactor designs.

“It means a lot to be recognized for this fellowship,” he said. “I appreciate Dr. Cao for giving me the insight and push to apply to the DOE NUEP Fellowship, which has awarded me for the hard work I have put into my undergraduate studies.”

Soderlund receives NRC Fellowship


Recent Aerospace Engineering PhD graduate Alex Soderlund has received an NRC Fellowship to work at the Space Directorate (AFRL/RV). 

Awarded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine as part of the NRC Research Associateship Programs, the post-doctoral award provides advanced training and collaborative research for highly qualified postdoctoral graduates. 

Soderlund was advised by Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Mrinal Kumar. His work will focus on advanced spacecraft guidance, navigation and control projects. Earlier this year, Soderlund submitted a research proposal that involved the creation and maintenance of a formation of satellites.  

He will begin working virtually with the AFRL to study the autonomous control of satellites encountering hazardous conditions.

“Some of this work will actually implement concepts from my dissertation research on wildfire tracking and estimation,” he said. 

During his year as an NRC associate at AFRL, Soderlund hopes to continue to advance academically and pursue his long-term goals in aerospace research.

“Within my 12-month tenure as an NRC associate, I hope to continue my academic journey by exploring new research fields, while also applying what I have learned over my four and a half years of attending graduate school,” he said.

Thayer awarded SMART Fellowship


PhD student Jordan Thayer has been awarded a Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Fellowship by the United States Department of Defense (DOD).

The SMART Scholarship for Service Program provides full tuition, health insurance, living expenses and employment at a DOD facility after graduation for students pursuing degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Thayer is advised by Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering professor Jack McNamara and also works in collaboration with Professor Datta Gaitonde.

Thayer’s fellowship was awarded by The Air Force Research Laboratory Aerospace Systems Directorate (AFRL) at Arnold Air Force Base. His research will focus on fluid-structure interactions in high-speed, unsteady flow environments. 

“The objective of my research is to identify fluid and structural parameters that enable activation of coupling mechanisms and energy transfer between unsteady, turbulent flows and compliant structures in supersonic and hypersonic regimes,” he said.

The fellowship allows Thayer to continue his research and begin working in a civilian position at the sponsoring facility.

“It's an honor to receive the opportunity to work with experimentalists and use the world-class facilities at AFRL both during and after my PhD studies,” Thayer said. “I am greatly looking forward to tackling engineering problems that are relevant to national missions.”

by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering