University News

Exploring Space — Four Engineering Students Receive NASA Grants for Aerospace Research

May 1, 2018

By Jackie Hennessey, contributing writer


Four Tagliatela College of Engineering students were awarded highly competitive NASA CT Space Grant Consortium (CTSGC) fellowships to do space and aerospace related research. Jordan Rippe '22 M.S. received the Student Project Award of $1,000, Alexandra Goriounova '20 received a $5,000 research fellowship, and Leah Lansdowne '20 and Jonathan Stanford '21 received $5,000 scholarships.

Dequan Xiao headshot
Dequan Xiao

“This was a high point for our students who were competing for grants and scholarships among their peers from academic institutions including UConn, Yale, and the University of Hartford and others,” said Dequan Xiao, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering.

NASA CTSGC is a federally mandated grant, internship, and scholarship program that is funded as a part of NASA Education. There are Space Grant Consortia in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico. Formed in 1991 by Trinity College, the University of Connecticut, and the University of New Haven with the University of Hartford as the lead institution, CTSGC encourages broader involvement in NASA research programs.

In October, Tagliatela College of Engineering faculty, the Dean’s office, and the University’s American Chemical Society Student Chapter organized “Chemistry and Space Science,” a forum held at the Orange Campus. It featured more than 40 student and faculty participants, including two keynote speakers from Yale, four University faculty speakers, and one Wesleyan postdoctoral speaker. “The forum stimulated students’ interest to think about frontier scientific and engineering problems related to NASA’s missions,” Xiao said.

“The trend of increasing participation and competitiveness of Tagliatela College of Engineering’s students for the NASA CTSGC grants results from the relentless pursuit of research and education in engineering and applied science at the Tagliatela College of Engineering. This certainly benefits students in their career development.” Dequan Xiao, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering