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BME, CS grad students receive DoD science and engineering graduate fellowships


Two engineering doctoral students have received 2021 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships. Sponsored and funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, the NDSEG Fellowship is a highly competitive fellowship awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of 15 supported disciplines.

Fellowship selections are made by the Air Force Research Laboratory, the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Office. A NDSEG fellowship covers full tuition, all mandatory fees, and offers a monthly stipend and health insurance for three years, as well as a travel budget.

Fellowship recipients are Mayna Nguyen, a biomedical engineering graduate student, and computer science graduate student Preston Robinette. Their fellowships are supported by the Air Force Research Laboratory.

Mayna Nguyen

Nguyen’s research interests are biomedical optics, laser therapeutics and computational modeling. She works with professors Duco Jansen and Anita Mahadevan-Jansen in the Vanderbilt Biophotonics Center using computational modeling to uncover the mechanism of infrared neural stimulation. She is a 2020 biomedical engineering graduate from the University of Texas at Austin.

Preston Robinette

Robinette’s research interests are related to safety in autonomous systems and safe reinforcement learning.

In summer 2020, she was a software engineering intern, Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III, at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Robinette is a 2020 physics graduate from Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina.

Nathaniel Hamilton

Vanderbilt currently has three NDSEG awardees. Computer science doctoral student Nathanial Hamilton received a 2019 NDSEG Fellowship from the Office of Naval Research. His research focus is development of autonomous systems, particularly intelligent navigation systems. He is a research assistant in Vanderbilt’s Institute for Software Integrated Systems.

Contact: Brenda Ellis, 615 343-6314
brenda.ellis@vanderbilt.edu