National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Robyn Bradford

Central State UniversityRobyn Bradford
Wilberforce, OH
B.S. Manufacturing Engineering, May 2011

NASA Academy Research Project:
BET (Brunauer, Emmett, and Teller) Analysis to Determine Surface Area of Cobalt Catalysts for Use in Fischer-Tropsch Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) Processes

Principal Investigators:
Aloysius Hepp, PhD
Ana De La Ree, PhD

Bellbrook, OH



I am a rising senior pursuing my Bachelor of Science degree in manufacturing engineering at Central State University (CSU).   On campus, I am an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Central State Chapter.  I am also a member of Alpha Kappa Mu Honor Society.

Research Experience

I was an undergraduate research assistant for the Consortium Research Fellows Program.  I worked with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) in the Human Effectiveness Directorate at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.  I assisted with research focusing on analyzing the performance and vulnerabilities of complex networks using mathematical and computer-based models.  Other projects included implementing brown bag seminars focused on nonlinear science and signal processing applications.

Research Interests

I’ve been conducting independent research on protein crystallization for the past two and a half years with my chemistry professor.  The objective is to investigate the effects of pH and protein concentration on the process of crystallization in an effort to develop a reliable, yet economical protocol for growing large, high-quality protein crystals.  We have already identified optimal conditions for protein crystal growth and are now in the process of designing and implementing experiments to test whether crystals will grow consistently.

Other Internship Experience

I have also interned with The Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington.  I worked in the Production Engineering Department for the Composite Manufacturing Center.  As a manufacturing engineering intern, I updated manufacturing process guides (MPGs), which are detailed instruction manuals for specific processes, and assisted engineers with work process improvements.

Professional Objectives

After graduation, I will attend graduate school to obtain my master’s and PhD degrees in materials engineering.  I plan to research and discover innovative ways to meet the materials needs of industry. Like others who have guided me on this journey, I plan to mentor and inspire young people to identify their passions and pursue them.


Last year I served as the Mentor Coordinator for the community outreach program Future Latinos in Engineering, sponsored by the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs (OCHLA) and hosted by CSU. I volunteered for this position because I have been blessed with phenomenal mentors in my own life and wanted to help others in the same manner. The objective of the OCHLA program is to encourage middle to high school Hispanic/Latino students to explore science and engineering. My job was to lead 6 CSU students to serve as mentors for 12 middle and high school students; and to serve as a liaison for local professionals participating in the program.

I scheduled meetings, tracked the projects the students worked on, and supplied materials. I kept expenditures under budget and provided receipts and reports of monies spent. I also assisted the mentor/mentee teams with preparing posters for presentation day. In addition, I handled any problems that arose and provided transportation when needed for mentors to meet with their mentees. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the support of my team; and fostering a commitment to the shared goal of helping younger students.  The highlight of the program was the Future Latinos in Engineering Fair. This event showcased the engineering projects the mentees worked on and what they learned. State representatives and local professionals, including engineers and teachers, were also in attendance.


I would like to thank my professors Dr. Joe Ross, Dr. Victor Aimiuwu, and Dr. Abayomi Ajayi-Majebi for their encouragement and support.  I also wish to thank the Ohio Aerospace Institute, the Ohio Space Grant Consortium, NASA Academy, Mr. Gerald Noel, Col. Clark Fuller, Dr. Juliette Bell, John W. Garland, Esq, Mr. Gorgui Ndao, and Mr. Morakinyo Kuti.