Foundation research

Three Eagles win prestigious National Science Foundation research grants | Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

When Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University senior Adriana Formby-Fernandez recently won a National Science Foundation (NSF) research fellowship, she added her name to a list that includes Steven Chu, former U.S. Secretary of the ‘Énergie, and Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.

“It feels good”, the Engineer’s Physics said the student. “The news hit me in stages.”

Formby-Fernandez is one of three Eagles to win the scholarship this year. The other two honorees are alumni Kelly Patterson (’10) and Janice Cabrera (’19), who is currently pursuing a doctorate. in Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.


Janice Cabrera, a 2019 Embry-Riddle graduate, holds a Ph.D. candidate at the Georgia Institute of Technology. (Photo: Janice Cabrera)

Since 1952, the NSF has funded more than 60,000 Graduate Research Fellowships, selecting winners from more than 500,000 applicants. Forty-two scholarship recipients became Nobel laureates. The scholarships are a five-year scholarship that provides the student with three years of funding, including an annual stipend of $34,000 and an annual stipend of $12,000 for tuition and fees.

Cabrera, who earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering in 2019, thanks some of her elementary teachers for helping her cultivate her love of math and science.

“I have fond memories of my college professors, who fueled my interest in pursuing a career in STEM by simply having conversations about the different career paths within STEM,” she said.

When Cabrera took a career quiz, aerospace engineering stood out for her, and soon after, she was researching the kinds of engineering problems that arise in this field.

“The astronautical aspect of aerospace engineering really captured my interest. I knew I would always be working on an exciting new problem every day,” she said.

At the Georgia Institute of Technology, Cabrera is a member of the High-Power Electric Propulsion Lab with a primary research interest in high-speed plasma diagnostics. She is also on her first rotation as a NASA Pathways intern at the Langley Research Center in Virginia.

Formby-Fernandez accepted an offer from the University of California, San Diego-Scripps Institute of Oceanography to earn a doctorate in physical oceanography.

For more information or to apply for a National Science Foundation Senior Fellowship, contact the Embry-Riddle Office of Prestigious Awards and Fellowships at [email protected].

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