Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student Alden Yellowhorse has been awarded one of only 65 NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships for the year 2015, with opportunities to renew in future years. These fellowships are awarded to students whose research shows potential for future use in NASA missions.
Yellowhorse earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from BYU in 2014 and is currently working with the Compliant Mechanisms Research Group in pursuit of his Ph.D. He drew NASA’s attention with his research in methods for designing origami-inspired mechanisms for spacecraft. Yellowhorse’s paper entitled, “Creating Rigid Foldability to Enable Mobility of Origami-Inspired Mechanisms,” which he co-authored with his advisor Dr. Larry Howell, was recently accepted for publication. This fellowship will help him continue to study large deflection in moving, folding mechanisms, and will also help him with his plans to examine problems related to deployment of these mechanisms with regard to the precise shape and stiffness of their configurations.
The award will give Yellowhorse the opportunity to collaborate not only with his advisor at BYU, but also with an advisor at a NASA Center who will mentor him in his space-related research. He is excited to advance his research with the help of this grant.