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Meet our inaugural Space Fellow Matthew Terry

Findings Staff Report | May 11, 2020

The Office of Research and UC’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering are thrilled to announce the creation of a new Space Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati. It’s first recipient: Matthew Terry. 

Terry graduated with a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering this month. Now, he’ll continue his education at UC with the fellowship, made possible with funding from an anonymous donor, the OoR and College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The award covers tuition and a stipend for Terry to complete a master's degree in aerospace engineering with a focus on artificial intelligence while working 20 hours a week as a research and teaching assistance in the department.

“We are investing in our students, giving them the best platform for success,” says Kelly Cohen, Ph.D., interim department head. “Matt is a perfect candidate. He is driven and has entrepreneurial experience. With the exposure we give him and the academic rigor of the program, he’s sure to succeed.”

For Terry, the opportunity allows him to continue to work on unmanned aerial vehicles, building on his undergraduate studies in Lidar and computer programming. While an undergrad, he and a team of fellow Bearcats launched a startup called Natalus, Inc., a software and hardware company aimed at streamlining space management. For his master’s work, he’ll study fuzzy logic artificial intelligence under Cohen.

Terry will continue to work in UC's UAV Master Lab, which builds UAVs for flying competitions and works with external partners, such as the Cincinnati Police and local public works agencies doing aerial work like surveillance and capturing photos of public infrastructure for review.

The "problem-solving atmosphere” of the lab appealed to the Mason, Ohio, native and fed his desire for a challenge, Terry says. He’s excited to mentor incoming freshmen in the lab next year. Terry will also work on Digital Futures projects involving aerospace engineering, Cohen says.

“Hardware and software competencies such as UAV, AI and Lidar are foundational to Digital Futures,” says Associate Vice President for Research Jennifer Krivickas, who leads Strategic Initiatives and Signature Programs at UC. “Not only do these competencies drive research, innovation and problem solving—at scale—they are aligned with JobsOhio, meaning, the University of Cincinnati and Digital Futures is feeding our state’s workforce pipeline directly with talent. A win-win-win, by design.”

Read more about Terry—whose entire immediate family went to UC—in this UC News feature on him from November 2019.