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Buckeye engineers receive 2017 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Three Buckeye engineers from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) have been named recipients of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). This competitive fellowship program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students conducting NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics research.

MAE is represented by alumni Jillian Grace Yuricich and Neil Stanley Ramirez and graduate student Andrej Simeunovic. The MAE awardees were selected from more than 13,000 national applicants.


Jillian Grace Yuricich (’16 Aerospace Engineering) is developing a framework for an autonomous controller to use on board satellites and spacecraft, solving long-term scheduling and planning problems while optimizing the craft’s controls and dynamics.

Yuricich is currently pursuing a PhD in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Neil Stanley Ramirez ('17 Mechanical Engineering) proposed a plan to further the knowledge of using nanoscale transport systems with flow control, which are essential to many applications including new types of drug delivery and water desalination.

Ramirez is currently pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of California - Berkeley. While at Ohio State, he was advised by Shaurya Prakash, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Graduate Students

Andrej Simeunovic (Mechanical Engineering) is developing an endoscopic surgical robotics-based additive manufacturing tissue engineering device. For Simeunovic's project, picture a Da Vinci surgical robot that 3D prints synthetic tissue constructs inside the body.

Simeunovic is advised by David Hoelzle, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering.

“This unique program has nurtured economic innovation and leadership in the U.S. continuously since 1952—by recruiting and supporting outstanding students with high potential in science, technology, engineering and mathematics very early in their graduate training,” said Jim Lewis, NSF assistant director for education and human resources. “These talented individuals have gone on to make important discoveries, win Nobel Prizes, train many generations of American scientists and engineers and create inventions that improve our lives.”

GRFP provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period, which includes a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution.

This support, to be used for graduate study, will lead to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree in a science and engineering (S&E) program area. The NSF and GRFP aim to increase the diversity of the S&E workforce, including geographic distribution and the participation of women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans.

A complete list of those offered the fellowship for 2017 is available on FastLane. For general information about the program, visit NSF's GRFP website.