• April 14th, 2022

The 2022 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recently selected four Randall Research Scholars Program students and two alumni as fellowship and award recipients.


Anna Stevenson, Jace Aldrich and Caroline Austin, with recognition to Rowan Batts for Honorable Mention.


Jace Aldrich is a mechanical engineering major from Helena, AL. His research involves non-linear and adaptive control of hybrid exoskeletons for rehabilitation, utilizing functional electrical stimulation to elicit muscle contractions in tandem with robotic actuation. Aldrich is also a senior computer lab manager for the Randall Research Scholars Program, where he oversees the day-to-day operations and long-term goals of the Randall Research Scholars Program Computing Lab. This past summer, he interned at Ford Motor Company where he was a product owner of a charge management system for fleet electric vehicles. Next summer, he will be working in the unmanned systems group at Southwest Research Institute, applying his robotics and controls knowledge to develop and improve many autonomous systems. Aldrich aims to continue his education as a master’s student at The University of Alabama, before pursuing a doctorate in mechanical engineering.


Anna Stevenson, a senior from Tall Timbers, MD, is involved in the Randall Research Scholars Program and is studying mechanical engineering. For the past three years, she has been working in the UA Engines and Combustion Laboratory studying combustion parameters of biofuels for use in low-emission diesel engines. Stevenson also has work experience as a mechanical design intern with Jordan & Skala Engineers and research experience as a SULI intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she studied the effectiveness of boiler retrofits on home energy reduction. While at the University, she has been involved with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, Pi Tau Sigma, Alabama Action and The XXXI Premier Women’s Honorary. Stevenson is a Goldwater Scholar and the 2022 recipient of the Catherine J. Randall Premier Award. After graduation, Stevenson plans to pursue a doctorate in mechanical engineering at the University of Virginia, where she will continue to study ways to reduce emissions from the transportation sector to fight the worsening climate crisis.


Caroline Austin is a senior aerospace engineering and mechanics major from Commerce Township, MI. She is a member of the Randall Research Scholars Program, and her undergraduate research has focused on different methods of testing, quantifying and improving human balance. While at the University Austin has been an involved member of the Alabama Gymnastics Club Team, serving as the president this past year. She has also been an officer for both the Women of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the aerospace honor society, Sigma Gamma Tau. Austin is a National Merit Finalist and was named the 2022 Capstone Engineering Society Outstanding Senior. Outside of her involvement at UA, she is a Pathways Intern at NASA Glenn Research Center where she has worked on both power generation estimates for the International Space Station and computational models for Space Associated Neuro-ocular Syndrome. Austin will return to NASA this summer before attending The University of Colorado Boulder in the fall where she will be pursuing a doctorate in aerospace with a bioastronautics concentration. Her graduate research will study the use of galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) to recreate the disorientation experienced by astronauts upon return from space flight. Austin’s work testing a prototype GVS device and developing an algorithm to appropriately couple stimulation levels with different head movements will provide a new training method for astronauts.


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