Aerospace engineering PhD graduate awarded NRC fellowship

Posted: May 14, 2020

Recent Aerospace Engineering PhD graduate, Alex Soderlund, has received an NRC fellowship. The fellowship is a post-doctoral award to work at the Space Directorate (AFRL/RV). Soderlund was advised by MAE professor Mrinal Kumar. 

Kumar and Soderlund with their award
Soderlund (middle left) with advisor Mrinal Kumar at the 2019 AIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition

The fellowship was awarded by the National Academies as part of the NRC Research Associateship Programs. The programs provide advanced training and collaborative research for highly qualified postdoctoral graduates. 

Soderlund’s work will focus on advanced spacecraft guidance, navigation and control projects. Earlier this year, Soderlund submitted a research proposal that involved the creation and maintenance of a formation of satellites.  

“It means a tremendous deal to me to have been fortunate enough to receive this fellowship, particularly in these tumultuous times,” said Soderlund. 

Soderlund will begin working virtually with the AFRL to study the autonomous control of satellites encountering hazardous conditions. He believes his work will implement concepts from research done during his time in MAE.  

“It seems that some of this work will actually implement concepts from my dissertation research on wildfire tracking and estimation,” Soderlund said. 

Soderlund will spend a year as an NRC associate at AFRL. During that time he hopes to continue to advance academically, and to continue to pursue his long-term goals in aerospace research.

“Within my 12-month tenure as an NRC associate, I hope to continue my academic journey by exploring new research fields while also applying what I have learned over my four and a half years of attending graduate school,” said Soderlund.

Category: Graduate