UC researchers continue to blaze new trails in science, medicine, business, education, engineering and the arts — literally transforming the way we live, work and learn.

Findings is the Office of Research’s newsletter, which began in October 2017. It delivers monthly updates to faculty, staff, students, and community partners about impactful research, initiatives, partnerships, events, and opportunities at the University of Cincinnati. To view current and previous issues of the newsletter, go to the Findings page.

Congratulations Space Research Institute for Discovery and Exploration (SRIDE) Fellows!

Congratulations Space Research Institute for Discovery and Exploration (SRIDE) Fellows!

The Space Research Institute for Discovery and Exploration (SRIDE) at the University of Cincinnati aims to foster growth in career paths aligned with regional and national interests in discovering and exploring our universe with an emphasis on space travel and habitation. Exploring space has the potential to help humans better understand the Earth and its place in the universe, while the possibility of humans living in space or on other celestial bodies presents new challenges related to sustainability, exploration policies, and governance when planning to build societies in space. To do this, SRIDE sponsors two fellowship programs, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students, for students interested in the future of space research and exploration who show potential in advancing new ideas in the field.

The SRIDE Fellowship for Discovery is an opportunity for undergraduate students of all majors in the last year or two of their academic programs with cumulative GPAs of 3.5 or higher. Funding for this award is available for up to six $5,000 fellowships each academic semester.

The SRIDE Fellowship for Exploration is open to graduate students who have completed at least one year of their Masters or Ph.D. degrees in any area of study and have cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or higher. This award provides funding for up to six $30,000 12-month graduate stipends that do not include tuition waivers.


Congratulations to the newest cohort of SRIDE fellows!


Fall Semester 2023 SRIDE Fellowship for Discovery Awardees

Yashvi Srivastava

Aerospace Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Development of a Digital Twin for the Spacecraft Motion Aping Robotic Testbed (SMART) Using Simscape

“A Digital Twin can be defined as an accurate digital representation of a given physical system. This allows researchers to overcome the challenges associated with hardware system development as predictability and an in-depth understanding of how these systems are going to behave allows researchers to avoid mistakes. When the Digital Twin is developed, it will allow us to conduct various experiments with the SMART while avoiding the challenges faced during hardware-related research and we can extend system capabilities by testing new pieces of equipment within the developed SMART v2.0 digital twin. This way, unnecessary risks associated with expensive hardware can be avoided as we can test and validate the compatibility and capability of various components.”


Ross Thayer

Aerospace Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

ORBIT: Orbital Robot for the Breakup and Identification of Targets

“This project plans to use machine learning tools to track and estimate the location of a non-cooperative object and then command a robotic arm to capture the object. Data will be gathered using LIDAR and cameras. The expected outcome is a closed-loop system that can track and capture space debris.”



Academic Year 2023-24 SRIDE Fellowship for Exploration Awardees

Nicole Carver

Experimental Psychology

College of Arts & Sciences

Supporting Posture and Balance in Changing Environments: A Novel Noise Stimulation Intervention and its Potential to Enhance Space Exploration

“Astronauts returning from space show marked changes in posture and balance upon landing. Given the tasks required post-landing and the effects of posture on higher order tasks, addressing balance problems is imperative for mission success. Stimulation of the sensory system via auditory noise is a promising avenue for improving impaired balance and posture. I propose research to better understand how noise may improve balance in service of higher order tasks and across different individuals. I will explore how the effects of noise can inform future applications in space exploration and astronaut safety, completing the project with both publications and conference presentations.”


Sean Dobson

Materials Science

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

A Decision-Making Quality Inspection Tool for In-Space Manufacturing: Building Confidence for Astronauts 3-D Printing in Metal

“The mantra of ‘Make it, don't take it’ is emblematic of the in-space manufacturing paradigm. However, ensuring the safety and reliability of such manufactured components for use in critical applications remains a formidable challenge. This study seeks to address this issue by providing astronauts with the assurance that the parts produced onboard the International Space Station meet the rigorous quality standards necessary for their intended application. Given the limitations of traditional characterization tools in space environments, this work aims to characterize the surface texture of bound metal deposition 3-D printed parts and establish correlations between their unique surface features and final part quality, a methodology already successfully applied to other additive manufacturing modalities.”


Rebecca Gilligan

Aerospace Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Fuzzy AI to Improve Safety of Precision Landing for Collaborative UAV and UGV

“The goal of research over the next year will involve building upon existing precision landing methods to combine the best features of different versions and add new features to improve safety and robustness. Landing zone characteristics and vehicle cooperation will be checked prior to precision landing and safety/risk determined with Fuzzy AI methods. Deliverables include impactful journal papers and a conference paper.”


Wilhelm A. Louw, MBA

Aerospace Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Explainable AI for Semi-Autonomous Robotic Surgery in Human Space Exploration

“The main purpose of [my] SRIDE research is to enhance human-centered AI integration for robotic surgery by ensuring that the AI is responsible, a much sought after attribute within the AI community. The first step is to perform a literary review and conduct surveys and interviews to ascertain both the medical and space medicine communities’ criteria for achieving explainability and trustworthiness in human-centered AI interactions. Additionally, [I] will use Genetic Fuzzy Trees, in the form of Thales’ TrUE AI, to demonstrate the potential of Genetic Fuzzy Systems use as an eXplainable AI (XAI) tool for machine learning in robotic surgery path planning. The findings will be presented in a research article which will be submitted to the Journal of Complex Engineering Systems (CES).”


Aida Ramusovic-Witham

Political Science – Comparative Politics

College of Arts & Sciences

The Impact of Media Representations of Space Exploration on Public Attitudes on International Collaboration

“The research project will produce new knowledge on the impact of media representations of space exploration on public attitudes towards international collaboration and identify potential causal mechanisms. This will contribute to the broader conversation on the role of media in shaping public attitudes towards complex policy issues and inform efforts to promote international collaboration in space exploration. The research project will also produce academic publications, conference presentations, and policy briefs to disseminate findings.”


Dylan Roach

Aerospace Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Trajectory Planning for a Team of Servicing Spacecraft to Safely and Fuel-Efficiently Fly around a Satellite for Servicing

“The goal of this project is to demonstrate that a group of servicing spacecraft can be employed to safely fly around a client satellite in proximity for In-space Servicing, Assembly, and Manufacturing (ISAM) tasks. To do this I will establish reliable models based on physics and current physical limitations to show the future application potential of both passive and active trajectory orbits. At the conclusion of this project, I will publish the findings from my research in two conference papers, one for each trajectory planning, and a journal paper regarding passive trajectory planning. In addition, I will present the research at a major space conference such as AIAA ASCEND or SciTech.”


Liang Zhang

Civil Engineering

College of Engineering & Applied Sciences

Designs of Optimal and Efficient Bio-Inspired Drilling into the Lunar Regolith Using Physics-Based Surrogate Models

“This project aims to derive the most preferable design of bio-inspired lunar drilling tools using physics-based surrogate models. The developed optimal design of bio-inspired lunar drilling tools will be instrumental for subsurface exploration and understanding the in-situ properties of lunar regolith.  It can also provide useful guidance for the optimal design of drilling tools for Mars exploration.”