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Space Dynamics Lab Celebrates Graduating Student Employees

May 5, 2020

Space Dynamics Laboratory

The Space Dynamics Laboratory announced that 51 of its student employees from Utah State University have graduated.

Approximately 150 USU student employees work together with over 800 professional engineers, scientists, technicians, and business executives at SDL while earning their undergraduate and graduate degrees. SDL provides unique opportunities for student employees to work on consequential programs to help solve technical challenges faced by the military, science community and industry.

“Each year, the Space Dynamics Lab recognizes the hard work and dedication of our student employees during a recognition event,” said H. Scott Hinton, president of SDL. “This year, we honored our graduating students virtually with an online tribute to both their academic commitment and their significant contributions to SDL. Our student employees are an intrinsic part of our organization, and they strengthen our efforts with NASA, the Department of Defense and industry by innovating in engineering, technology and science to improve our understanding of Earth and space and to safeguard America.”

Of the graduating student employees, eight have received graduate degrees and 43 have received bachelor’s degrees from USU. The student employees came from a range of disciplines throughout USU’s colleges, including the College of Engineering, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the College of Science, the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business and the S.J. & Jessie E. Quinney College of Natural Resources. The 51 student employees completed 52 degrees that include:

  • 25 Computer Science degrees
  • 6 Mechanical Engineering degrees
  • 4 Aerospace Engineering degrees
  • 4 Management Information Systems degrees
  • 3 Accounting degrees
  • 1 Biology degree
  • 1 Business Administration degree
  • 1 Economics degree
  • 1 Electrical Engineering degree
  • 1 English degree
  • 1 Geography degree
  • 1 Graphic Design degree
  • 1 Human Resources degree
  • 1 Physical Therapy degree
  • 1 Physics degree

“Working as a student employee at SDL is the most memorable part of my college experience,” said Marinda Davis, an SDL business assistant who graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting. “I appreciate all the mentors at SDL who helped make it such a great experience. My advice for current college students is to have fun and make the most of your time in school because you’ll be graduating before you know it.”

Reflecting on her time at SDL, Davis said that flying in SDL’s Cessna Skymaster airplane during a research flight was one of her most memorable experiences.

Riley Densley earned a master’s in computer science while working as an engineering assistant at SDL.

“I have had the privilege of working at SDL as a student for six years, first as an undergraduate at USU, then as a graduate student,” said Densley. “Working with the employees here has helped me apply what I learned in the classroom to the real world. I am truly grateful for the time I have had to work and grow in my knowledge with the individuals at SDL.”

SDL has been solving the technical challenges faced by the military, science community, and industry for six decades and supports NASA’s vision to reveal the unknown for the benefit of humankind. As one of 14 University Affiliated Research Centers, SDL serves as a subject matter expert in its core research areas to the US Government, ensuring that essential engineering and technology capabilities are maintained. SDL is a research laboratory headquartered in North Logan, UT, and has offices in Albuquerque, NM; Bedford, MA; Dayton, OH; Huntsville, AL; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Stafford, VA; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit


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