Wednesday, 25 April 2018 13:31

Two in necstlab win national defense graduate fellowships Featured

Daso, Kaiser are among seven MIT graduate students accepting three-year fellowships.
Ashley Kaiser CNT Cells Combo
Graduate student Ashley L. Kaiser is one of seven MIT graduate students accepting a 2018 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. Background shows a top-view scanning electron microscope image of vertically aligned carbon nanotubes formed into a cellular pattern with clearly defined cell walls. SEM Image, Ashley L. Kaiser, MIT, Photo, Denis Paiste, MIT MRL.

The Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research have awarded 2018 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowships to two graduate students in Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Brian L. Wardle’s lab – Frederick Daso and Ashley L. Kaiser – as well as five other MIT graduate students. They are among 69 fellows nationwide offered the highly competitive award.

Both Kaiser, a graduate student in materials science and engineering and former Summer Scholar, and Daso [S.B, ’17], a graduate student in aerospace engineering, are research assistants in Wardle’s necstlab.

Kaiser worked with Postdoc Itai Y. Stein to create predictable patterns from unpredictable carbon nanotubes. “Our group is not at all surprised, but indeed very pleased, for Ashley’s most recent achievement to be selected an NDSEG Fellow,” Wardle says.

Kaiser interned in Wardle’s lab during Summer 2016, and graduated in 2017 with her B.S. degree in chemical engineering with highest honors from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She also completed materials research internships at 3M and UMass Amherst. Through her graduate work, she plans to design high-performance hybrid materials for multifunctional systems and sustainable technologies.

“My experience as a 2016 Summer Scholar truly launched my career at MIT even before I returned for graduate school, and it allowed me the key opportunity to pursue and publish my research at a fast pace,” Kaiser says. “I'm very honored and excited to receive this Fellowship, as it will support my research goals to develop enhanced nanocomposite technology during my PhD.”

Daso previously worked in necstlab through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, as well as briefly through the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program. He was awarded the Ronald McNair Scholarship Award in April 2017. “Our necstlab group is very pleased with Fred’s most recent achievement in securing the NDSEG Fellowship. Fred has been pursuing research in necstlab for several years as a UROP, and now as a graduate student he is leading his own investigations into nanomaterials-enabled composite manufacturing,” Wardle says.

Daso’s current research focuses on applying novel curing techniques to process thermoplastic composite materials and reducing or eliminating process-driven deformations during the cure cycle for resin impregnated fabrics.

“Winning this award was a culmination of two things: my growing passion for structural analysis as a freshman entering MIT, and Professor Wardle's willingness to take on a freshman UROP into his lab group,” Daso says. “With Professor Wardle's guidance and support, I was able to cultivate my interests in composite research and focus on getting into graduate school. Winning the award in such a competitive year is a testament to the future impact my work will have in the field of composite materials.”

Frederick Daso Headshot MIT NDSEG
Graduate student Frederick Daso is one of seven MIT graduate students to accept a 2018 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. Daso is a graduate research assistant in Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Brian L. Wardle’s necstlab. Courtesy photo.

NDSEG fellows are selected by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Army Research Office and the Office of Naval Research. MIT NDSEG fellows this year, listed by awarding agency, are:

Army Research Office: Peter Yucheng Lu, Physics, in Photonics and Modern Electro-Magnetics Group; Sarah Schwartz, Microbiology, in Fournier Lab.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research: Ashley L. Kaiser, Materials Science and Engineering, in necstlab.

Office of Naval Research: Eeshan Chetan Bhatt, MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography and Applied Ocean Science and Engineering, in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; Frederick Daso, Aeronautics and Astronautics, in necstlab; Bharath Kannan, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, in the Engineering Quantum Systems group; and Molly Parsons, biological engineering, in the Laboratory for Computational Biology & Biophysics.

Begun in 1989, NDSEG has awarded nearly 3,600 fellowships to U.S. citizens and nationals who pursue a doctoral degree in one of 15 supported disciplines at a U.S. institution. NDSEG Fellowships last for up to three years, covering full tuition and mandatory fees. Fellows receive a monthly stipend of $3,200 and a yearly medical insurance stipend. The NDSEG Fellowship is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) under the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (OSD) for Research and Engineering.

back to newsletterDenis Paiste, Materials Research Laboratory
April 26, 2018