CAMBRIDGE, MA – Kristen Railey, a Draper Fellow and a PhD candidate in Oceanographic Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) joint program, is among 20 students worldwide selected by Aviation Week as “Tomorrow’s Engineering Leaders: The 20 Twenties.”
Sponsored by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the 20 Twenties recognize the top science, technology, engineering and mathematics undergraduate and graduate students for their academic excellence, the research and projects they undertake and their contributions to the broader community. The 20 Twenties will be honored during Aviation Week’s 60th Annual Laureates Awards on March 2 at the National Building Museum in Washington.
“One of the pillars of our service to the aerospace community is actively engaging and developing next-generation technology talent who are essential to the future of this exceptional industry,” Greg Hamilton, president of Aviation Week Network, said. “Truly, this year’s nominees and winners represent the best in terms of their talent, their creativity and ability.”
According to Sandy Magnus, AIAA’s executive director, this year’s honorees “reflect the diversity, ingenuity and remarkable talent found within the aerospace community. Each of these outstanding students, from around the world, is making significant contributions to their fields of study—ranging from electric propulsion to hypersonics to autonomous vehicles—as well as working to make the world a better place. Their research is shaping not only the future of aerospace, but the future of humanity, and each is uniquely worthy of our praise and this honor.”
Railey’s research focuses on signal processing and autonomy in underwater robotics. She is a joint National Defense Science and Engineering and Draper Fellow. Previously, Railey was a technical staff member in the Advanced Undersea Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory and received a S.B. in mechanical engineering from MIT.
Draper has operated a fellowship program for more than 50 years. Currently the program supports 60 Draper Fellows who are pursuing MS and PhD degrees at 11 universities. Draper Fellow Alumni have gone on to serve as high-ranking members in the DOD, astronauts for NASA, leaders in industry and faculty members in engineering and the sciences.