UALR sophomore lands NASA internship

The John Glenn Research Center Space Academy in Cleveland, Ohio, has offered a paid summer internship to UALR sophomore Joshua Shaw, 20, of Strawberry.

Out of hundreds of candidates who applied from across the nation, Shaw was offered one of ten slots available at the Glenn Space Academy in Cleveland. Shaw leaves May 27 for the 10-week internship, which will come with a total stipend of $6,500.

Josh Shaw
UALR systems engineering major, Josh Shaw (photo credit: Wyota Shaw)

At the end of his internship, he will participate in a graduation ceremony and be inducted as an alumnus of the Academy. The NASA Academy Alumni Association assists alums with employment opportunities at NASA and related industries.

“This will be an excellent resume builder,” Shaw said.

He was also contacted by the NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center Robotics Academy in Huntsville, Ala., but had already committed to the space academy in Cleveland.

During his internship this summer, Shaw will be a research associate in the Human Robotic Systems project, contributing as a member of a team investigating the best way to upgrade rover wheel systems used during lunar and planetary exploration.

In addition to conducting hands-on research with NASA mentors on the performance of the HRS, he will investigate new alternatives for low-gravity planetary surface exploration mobility.

Shaw is majoring in systems engineering with an emphasis in mechanical engineering. He says one of his mentors at UALR has been Associate Professor Andrew Wright because of the real-world experiences Dr. Wright brings into classroom.

Another mentor was Alan Smith, Shaw’s science high school teacher, who expected college-level work from his students and started a robotics program at the school.

Shaw has continued his interest in robotics since coming to UALR in 2012. He has served as a mentor to those competing in the BEST (Boosting Engineering Science and Technology) National Robotics Competition, in which UALR has served as a hub for several years.

Learn more about the Systems Engineering program at UALR.

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