Thirty-four graduating seniors were honored Friday

Apr 23, 2016 | The Salt Lake Tribune

Senior send-off

Press Release – LOGAN, UTAH, April 21, 2016 – The Utah State University Research Foundation and Space Dynamics Laboratory will honor 34 graduating students who are employed at the Research Foundation and SDL while completing their degrees at USU. A ceremony to recognize those students is scheduled for Friday, April 22 at SDL.

“At the Research Foundation and SDL, student employees have a unique opportunity to obtain real-world experience in engineering and business and participate in creating and implementing advanced technological solutions that benefit society,” said H. Scott Hinton, president of the USU Research Foundation. “Our organization competes and works on programs that provide critical capabilities for the Department of Defense and advance scientific research for NASA and our student employees become an integral part of that work. Students leave here with confidence obtained by applying what they’ve learned in the classroom to a business focused on supporting the Department of Defense and industry in defending and protecting our nation as well as supporting NASA’s vision to reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind.”

From designing spacecraft systems to writing code or coordinating logistics for the business, the student employees at the Research Foundation and SDL have become a key component of its success. The organization has helped train nearly 2,000 students as they pursue careers in the aerospace and other industries.

“The student employees that we will honor are expected to graduate in 2016 with degrees representing 16 disciplines,” said Niel Holt, director of the Space Dynamics Laboratory. “While the students benefit from the mentorship of leading experts working on important programs for our nation, we benefit from their drive, enthusiasm and fresh look on our business. We remain grateful for the dedication they continuously display while they work on challenging tasks and at the same time achieve high academic standards in their classes.”

“There’s no textbook for the work I’ve been privileged to participate in at SDL. I’ve been encouraged and supported as I’ve expanded my knowledge and skill base,” Mechanical Engineering student Ryan Martineau said. “It would be hard to overstate the value of these experiences as I begin my career in space science and engineering.” Martineau is a 2014 recipient of Aviation Week’s prestigious “Tomorrow’s Engineering Leaders: The 20 Twenties” award.

The students honored, their expected degrees and hometowns are:

A unit of the USU Research Foundation, SDL is one of 14 University Affiliated Research Centers in the nation. Charged with applying basic research to the technology challenges presented in the military and science arenas, SDL has developed revolutionary solutions that are changing the way the world collects and uses data. SDL’s core competencies are electro-optical sensor systems, calibration, thermal management, reconnaissance systems, and small satellite technologies. For more information, visit

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