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Outstanding Students Receive Dissertation Fellowships

Narendra Singh and Joel Runnels have been awarded highly competitive Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships for the 2018-2019 academic year. The Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship gives the University’s most accomplished doctorate candidates an opportunity to devote full-time effort to an outstanding research project by providing time to finalize and write a dissertation during the fellowship year. The Fellowship is reviewed by the Graduate Fellowship Committee, composed of twenty-seven faculty members and four co-chairs across the University. Each nomination is independently reviewed and rated by three faculty members drawn form different fields within the broad discipline.


Graduate Student Narendra Singh smiling

Narendra Singh is a fourth year PhD student working with Professor Thomas Schwartzentruber.

His current research interests are focused on constructing the macroscopic models in order to deepen understanding of thermochemical reactions that govern the dynamics of gas particles in hypersonic flows, primarily applied to atmospheric reentry of space vehicles. The framework is rooted in fundamental physics and builds from molecular-level information, which relies on quantum mechanics for estimation of forces between atoms.

In engineering, he intends to develop consistent models for both DSMC (direct simulation Monte Carlo) and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) as the existing thermochemistry models are more than two decades old and are based on limited macroscopic experimental data.

His future plans are to pursue an academic career as a professor, preferably in aerospace engineering. He would be thrilled to be part of the efforts to increase scientific knowledge and understanding as a university professor.

Graduate Student Joel Runnels Smiling

Joel Runnels
is a fourth year graduate student working with Professor Demoz Gebre-Egziabher.

His current research interests focus on developing new ways for spacecraft to determine their location when far away from Earth, particularly using signals from pulsars as a natural “interplanetary GPS” to determine the position of the spacecraft.

His future plans include continuing his research in new navigation techniques and applying the methods he has developed during his graduate work to other challenging navigation problems.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics wishes these students the best of luck as they continue their research.

For more information regarding the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, see the University of Minnesota webpage.

Last Modified: 2018-05-04 at 14:52:04 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation