NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF AEROSPACE

Contact Us

Colin Britcher, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Education
757.325.6730
colin.britcher@nianet.org  

Mary Catherine Bunde, M.Ed.
Senior Education Administrator
757.325.6731
mary.bunde@nianet.org

Student Awards & Recognitions

North Carolina State University and NIA PhD student, Donato Girolamo, receives “Best Engineering Thesis of the Year 2013 in the Netherlands” Award

Donato Girolamo, NCSU PhD student working with Langley Professor  Fuh-Gwo Yuan,  graduated from Delft University of Technology with a Masters in Science, with a thesis entitled “Progressive Damage Analysis of Bonded Composite Joints”. His work has been awarded the best thesis prize by the Netherlands Association of Aeronautical Engineers & The Royal Institute of Engineers in the Netherlands. This research, which was conducted at NASA LaRC, was part of the NASA Bonded Composite Joints Project, within the SLS Program. The project aimed to investigate and characterize three different sandwich composite bonded joint designs (Conventional Splice Joint, Durable Redundant Joint and Fluted Core Sandwich Joint) conceived to bond different sections of the SLS payload shroud during the assembly. The effort involved multiple branches within NASA LaRC from different Directorates: RD, ED and SLS. The Boeing Company, Seattle, took part in the project under the Space Act Agreement. 

NIA Students from Georgia Tech Win “Best Space History, Society, and Policy Paper” as AIAA Space 2013 Conference & Exposition  

NIA Students, Christopher Jones, 2014 PhD Candidate, Patrick Chai, 2014 PhD Candidate and recent graduate, Sean Currey, MS ’13 from Georgia Tech won the AIAA Space 2013 Conference award for the “Best Space History, Society, and Policy Student Paper” in San Diego, California which was held September 10-12, 2013. Their collaboration reviewed NASA’s space exploration plans beyond low Earth orbit, and identified the discontinuity between the exploration visions and the resulting architectures and programs. Their paper surveys both the success of the Apollo program, and the lesser results of the two recent NASA visions, and their resulting exploration plans. Their advisor is Dr. Alan Wilhite, Georgia Tech Langley Professor.

NIA Students from University of Virginia Win National Wheel Chair Competition

 NIA/UVA students, Dennis Waldron, MS candidate, Duncan McGillivray, PhD candidate, Craig Ungaro, PhD candidate, and Ankit Shah, PhD candidate won first place in the 2012 World Cerebral Palsy Day “Change My World in One Minute” competition for their design of a solar-powered wheelchair with retractable panels. The wheelchair concept was inspired by the design of retractable roofs on convertible cars. The wheelchair can operate for more than 4½ hours at a speed of 5 mph on a fully charged battery, a range increase of more than 40 percent over batteries alone. Their advisor is Dr. Mool Gupta, UVA Langley Professor.

Martin L. Drews Scholarship

In the Spring of 2008, the Martin L. Drews scholarship was established and is intended to be a $500 supplemental scholarship for an NIA Graduate Student who is engaged in research related to the exploration of space. This scholarship is in memory of Martin L. Drews. The scholarship recognizes his keen interest in space exploration and is funded by the Drews family. The scholarship will be funded year to year and will not be endowed. It is intended to be a supplemental scholarship of $500 per year or any amount requested by the family. The following students have been awarded this honor.

The winners of the Drews Scholarship include:

      • 2008 Brett Bathel, PhD, Georgia Tech
      • 2009 Dale Arney, PhD, Virginia Tech
      • 2010 Eric Faierson, PhD, Virginia Tech
      • 2011 Alex Brown (posthumously), PhD candidate, University of Maryland
      • 2012 Ankit Shah, PhD candidate, University of Virginia
      • 2013 Duncan McGillivray, PhD candidate, University of Virginia
      • 2014 Shane Seaman, PhD candidate, Virginia Tech

Adam Cowling Won 2010 AIAA Abe Zarem national award for best M.S. research in Astronautics

LARSS Student Summer ’08, then awarded GRA from NIA (Virginia Tech)
Currently a NASA Langley Civil Servant

Brett Bathel Won Best Paper in Aerodynamic Measurement Technology for 2010
“Multiple Velocity Profile Measurements in Hypersonic Flows Using Sequentially-Imaged Fluorescence Tagging” coauthored with NASA mentor, Dr. Paul Danehy and advisor, Prof. Chris Goyne, UVa

Thomas McQuigg Won 2011 Paul E Torgersen Award for outstanding Ph.D. Dissertation Research in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech

Ph.D. Dissertation: “Compression After Impact Experiments and Analysis on Honeycomb Core Sandwich Panels with Thin Facesheets”

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