NASA Experience

My summer experiences interning at NASA have largely inspired my Ph.D. research focusing on astronaut health and performance. I worked with many different groups at NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Johnson Space Center and was able to grow skills in human subjects data collection & analysis, engineering design & rapid prototyping, and exercise physiology.

Crew State Monitoring – Summer 2012 and 2013

NASA LaRC

I worked with the Crew State Monitoring group my first two summers at NASA. Within the Crew Systems and Aviation Operations Branch at NASA Langley, the Crew State Monitoring group studies psychophysiological monitoring in the cockpit. In Summer 2012, I worked with the team to install remote, non-invasive eye tracking into the flight simulators. In Summer 2013, I designed the Physiological Integration Experiment to collect physiological data, including ECG and EEG, and eye tracking from human subjects during flight simulations with various levels of automation. I gained experience applying to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and collected data in the medium fidelity, fixed-base VISTAS III simulator. I also tested a webcam based heart rate detection method.

SAGE III-ISS – Summer 2014

NASA LaRC

Within the Chemistry and Dynamics Branch at NASA Langley, I analyzed the power consumption and investigated electrical anomalies seen in Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III ground testing. The SAGE III scientific instrument was bound for the International Space Station (ISS) to provide crucial, long-term measurements of the Earth’s atmosphere. The payload was delivered to the ISS in February 2017.

MICEHAB – Summer 2015

NASA LaRC

Multigenerational, Independent Colony for Extraterrestrial Habitation, Autonomy, and Behavior health (MICEHAB) is a conceptual design and demonstration of a long duration, autonomous rodent colony to study the effect of partial gravity on reproduction. Working with an interdisciplinary team of students and mentors within the Space Mission Analysis Branch, I focused on compiling veterinary and science requirements and on constructing the demonstration. I gained experience with CAD, rapid prototyping, and electronics. I co-presented the work at the 2015 American Society for Gravitational and Space Research Annual Meeting.

Exercise Physiology – Summer 2016

NASA JSC

I completed a National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) apprenticeship at NASA Johnson after completing my undergraduate degree. I worked within the Exercise Physiology and Countermeasures Lab to validate an inertial motion capture system (XSENS MVN Awinda) during an exercise hardware evaluation. The biomechanical measurements from the motion capture suit were compared to the gold standard optical motion capture (Vicon) measurements for a series of upper and lower extremity movements. The novel exercise system being tested was the Device for Aerobic and Resistive Training (DART) with the Musculoskeletal Loading System (MLS). The MLS split the single cable DART device into two cables for squat exercises. Results of the study were presented at the 2017 Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop.