Melissa Kilby, a doctoral student in kinesiology, will spend her summer working at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston as part of the agency's summer apprenticeship program.
The 10-week internship puts Kilby in the space center's Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility, where she will collect data using motion-capture systems and force-measurement devices to help evaluate flight procedures and systems as they relate to human factors.
This work directly relates to the research Kilby is doing in the Department of Kinesiology, where she works with Karl Newell, associate dean of research, to identify how our bodies balance. This research applies to predicting falls among elderly populations, footwear design and movement training for athletes, among other topics.
The 2015 Summer Apprenticeship Program gives undergraduate and graduate students in medical fields hands-on experience in space biomedical research. Since 1998, the apprenticeship program has brought more than 200 students from across the country to work with NASA scientists. The program pays each participant a $7,500 stipend.