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Five more NSF fellowships

April 6, 2020

NSF selects Spartan Engineers for top graduate research honor

The National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Program has selected five more fellows from the Michigan State University College of Engineering.

New NSF Fellow Julian Venegas focuses on machine learning.
New NSF Fellow Julian Venegas focuses on machine learning.

The program is the country’s oldest graduate fellowship program that directly supports graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, fields. 

NSF Graduate Research Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000, along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.

Katy Luchini Colbry, assistant dean for Graduate Student Services in the College of Engineering, said the NSFGRFP allows its fellows to focus on their research and studies, while offering access to national resources to support advanced research and computation. 

“It’s one of the most prestigious awards in our country, recognizing outstanding achievement and providing support for graduate students to become scientists and engineers,” she said.

This year’s NSF GRF program recipients in the college are: 

Julian Venegas, a PhD student in computational mathematics, science & engineering (CMSE). His research in machine learning is focused on model generalization with transfer learning and multi-task learning methods, and applications to problems in bioinformatics. He is advised by CMSE Assistant Professor Yuying Xie.

Josh Tempelman is currently doing research at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico.
Josh Tempelman is currently doing research at Los Alamos National Lab in New Mexico.

Josh Tempelman, a PhD student in mechanical engineering. His research focuses on developing algorithms to identify commonly found defects in additively manufactured parts using sensor data and machine learning models. He is currently a graduate research assistant at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. 

Three other Spartan Engineers were also awarded graduate fellowships. They are:

Megan Davis, who completed a bachelor’s degree in CMSE and astrophysics in the summer of 2019 and remained at MSU for a PhD in physics.

• Harrison Lawson, a PhD student in chemical engineering and materials science who will continue his doctoral studies at Carnegie Mellon University. He spent two years at MSU investigating how environmental factors can alter signaling and regulatory pathways that direct cell fate and pathology.

Derek Metcalf, who completed a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in the spring of 2018 and now attends Georgia Tech.

“These five students were among 18 MSU-affiliates named 2020 NSF GRF awardees,” Luchini Colbry said. “Twelve are current students and six are recent alumni.”

Additionally, Malcolm Moncheur, a PhD student in environmental engineering, is one of MSU’s 15 honorable mentions for an NSF GRF fellowship this year.

Overall, the College of Engineering has had 47 NSF Fellows since 2007 out of MSU’s 132 during that time period. Spartan Engineers represent more than a third of the NSF GRF fellowships granted at MSU.