SDL Announces New PhD Fellowship Program at Utah State

January 8, 2003

LOGAN - Utah State University Research Foundation's Space Dynamics Laboratory (SDL), has created an engineering PhD fellowship program that will award three $30 thousand stipends

"These fellowships are designed to be very prestigious," said Steve Hansen, deputy director at SDL. "Our goal is for USU and the engineering department to use this as a recruiting tool to attract the best doctoral candidates in the country to Utah State."

The SDL fellowships are offered in three disciplines: mechanical and aerospace engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and physics. Their PhD topics must be related to the space science.

The first recipients of the SDL Fellowship are USU PhD students Daniel P. Stormont, in electrical and computer engineering, and Nicholas Alley, in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Stormont has several years of experience working with robotics; he is currently working on the distribution of a swarm of inexpensive mobile robots to assist first responders in locating potential victims after a natural or man-made disaster.

"I am thrilled to receive the SDL Fellowship," Stormont said. "I will be researching autonomous mobile robots, an area with application both here on Earth and in space."

Alley will be designing UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that will be structured specifically to take advantage of SDL's sensor technology. He previously served as the graduate advisor for the USU Wright Flyer design team.

"I am honored and excited to be awarded the SDL Fellowship," said Alley. "I look forward to the challenges and opportunities it will bring me."

Each SDL Fellowship is renewable for up to three years. When the program is up and running, SDL could have up to nine PhD Fellows on campus at the same time.

"After the Fellows graduate, our hope is that we can encourage them to work at SDL," Hansen said.