Congratulations are in order for Levi DeVries, who has been awarded a Link Foundation Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation Fellowship in the amount of $26,000 for the 2013? 2014 academic year. According to its website the Link Foundation, "supports programs to foster the theoretical basis, practical knowledge, and application of energy, simulation, and ocean engineering and instrumentation research, and to disseminate the results of that research through lectures, seminars and publications." Recipients of the Link Foundation Fellowship are required to provide a written report within two months after the end of the fellowship period.

The research DeVries plans to accomplish with the Link Fellowship will involve integrating bio-inspired sensing modalities on unmanned underwater vehicles. Fish have an incredible sensing system called the lateral line that allows them to sense local pressure gradients and flow velocity. Recent developments in materials science have produced sensors with the ability to emulate this sensing strategy. The goal of his research will be to assimilate these bio-inspired sensing modalities onto unmanned underwater vehicles to improve their guidance and navigation capabilities. Specifically, DeVries will apply tools from nonlinear estimation and control to enable a vehicle to navigate the underwater environment while estimating the position and size of obstacles in its vicinity.

DeVries completed his undergraduate studies at Concordia College in Moorhead,MN in 2009, graduating with a double major in physics and mathematics. During that time he served as a research assistant at the Concordia College Hypervelocity Dust Particle Accelerator and studied the impacts of micron sized particles on thin films for the purpose of providing coatings for space materials. He began study at the University of Maryland in the fall of 2009 and served as a TA for a year (for ENAE283 and ENAE432) before joining the Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory as a research assistant under the advising of Prof. Derek Paley. Levi's research has focused on adaptive sampling and estimation strategies for multi-vehicle systems in flowfields.

April 4, 2013

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