CURRENT & FORMER FELLOW SPOTLIGHT

 Matthew Munson
Former Fellow
Matthew Munson was awarded the NDSEG Fellowship at Caltech where he pursued a Doctoral degree in Aeronautics. Matthew, like many other applicants, heard of NDSEG through a current fellow who was working in his lab. Matthew feels that the NDSEG Fellowship awarded him a great deal of freedom during his graduate studies which allowed him to focus on his educational pursuits.
At the end of his tenure as an NDSEG Fellow, Matthew was still in need of support for the completion of his PhD. To finish out his degree, he applied for and was awarded the SMART scholarship. As part of the SMART program, Matthew began working at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory following his graduation.
Since then, Matthew has continued his career with DoD. He now works at the U.S. Army Research Office, serving as the Program Manager for Fluid Dynamics. Matthew stated that, “My participation in NDSEG and SMART, as well as working on DoD-funded research during graduate school, allowed me to pursue interesting scientific questions and their solutions in my doctoral research. It’s also fun that I’ve come full circle – ARO supported my NDSEG and now I get to assist in making those same recommendations for support of the next generation of students."
Jason Becker
Dawei Ding
2017 CLASS NDSEG FELLOW
2017 CLASS NDSEG FELLOW
Jason Becker graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering, the University from California Berkeley with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering, and is currently finishing his MFE from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He is passionate about statistics, machine learning, and their application to financial markets. His thesis focused on the application of high frequency data and novel volatility modeling techniques to forecast volatility of cryptoassets. Upon graduating, Jason plans to begin a career as a quantitative strategist or quantitative trader. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer and baseball, volunteering at dog shelters, and watching the Green Bay Packers.
Dawei Ding is a PhD student at the Stanford University department of Applied Physics. He is interested in studying the divide between classical and quantum physics through the lens of quantum information. He has published in various areas of theoretical quantum information science, in particular quantum communications, quantum chaos, and quantum algorithms. He is also involved in the It from Qubit Simons collaboration, a dialogue between quantum information and fundamental physics.
Emily Kistler
2017 CLASS NDSEG FELLOW
Emily Kistler is a fourth year PhD. Student who studies the high-temperature degradation behavior of metallic alloys and coatings exposed to harsh conditions at the University of Pittsburgh.  After completing her PhD she hopes to obtain a research position in industry. 
Scott Herting
2017 CLASS NDSEG FELLOW
​Scott Herting is a fourth year Ph.D. student at Texas A&M University. His current research focuses on the biological response to medical devices, specifically aneurysm occlusion devices and shape memory polymer foams. He is interested in the role that the immune system plays in the response to biomaterials and how materials can be designed to elicit a beneficial response that augments the function of implanted medical devices. Scott also previously served as the Texas A&M Society for Biomaterials chapter President, and he is an active participant in outreach programs focused on increasing community interest and engagement in STEM.
Thomas Nevins
2017 CLASS NDSEG FELLOW
Thomas Nevins is a 5th year PhD student in physics at the University of Rochester. He studies the mixing reactive scalars - from combustion to phytoplankton population dynamics - through small scale experiments and dynamical systems theory. His work tracking and quantifying the growth of stirred reactions helps determine how stirring assists (or hinders) reaction growth, and is published in Physical Review Letters, and Chaos. Outside his PhD, he is interested in innovative science in industry, and he has earned a masters degree in technical entrepreneurship and management. He is also interested in the dynamics of granular media, biological fluid flows (where he's published in JCI Insight), and geophysical flows. Similarly he is interested in a variety of careers after graduation in both academia and industry, but most of all he hopes to keep doing research and to turn that research into real-world outcomes.
Laurel Paxton
2017 CLASS NDSEG FELLOW
Laurel Paxton is a 5th year PhD student studying mechanical engineering at the University of Southern California.  She focuses on the study of turbulent jet flames to improve methods of energy generation and propulsion technologies.  Outside of her PhD work, she is interested in the development of rocket and hypersonic technologies.  After graduation, she hopes to work in the aerospace industry helping to develop next-generation propulsion capabilities. 
William Roberts
2017 CLASS NDSEG FELLOW
William Roberts is a fourth year Ph.D. candidate in the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, previously receiving a B.S in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University in 2015 and an M.S. from Georgia Tech in 2017. At Georgia Tech, his research has focused on modeling and simulation of autonomous systems and human supervisory control of collaborating autonomous systems. William has produced Janus, a Java-based SDK for simulating multi-agent systems used by several projects within the ASDL. In addition to these theoretical interests, William has collaborated with peers developing hardware examples of autonomous systems, culminating in Georgia Tech’s entries to the AUVSI Maritime RobotX Challenge and RoboBoat competitions in 2016 and 2018. On the side, William is an active musician, combing his technical and creative interests by converting antique stereo cabinets into guitar amplifiers and building electric guitars from scratch.