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Las Cruces student wins research award from NASA

New Mexico State University student Joe Fronczek of Las Cruces has been chosen to receive the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Student Fellows Prize, an award given to only five students in the nation who possess an extraordinary potential for developing advanced concepts in aeronautics, space and the sciences.



New Mexico State University student Joe Fronczek is a recipient of the NIAC Stude

k, a junior majoring in chemical engineering, received the award to fund his research project titled "Bio-Inspired Sensor Swarms to Detect Leaks in Pressurized Systems." He wrote the proposal with his adviser Nadipuram Prasad, an associate professor in the Klipsch School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at NMSU.


The research was conducted in the Rio Grande Institute for Soft Computing (Riosoft) RioRoboLab, a NASA-funded laboratory that is working on a variety of projects that combine robotics and artificial intelligence systems. Prasad is director and founder of the laboratory.

"I have always loved astronomy and space, and I consider myself very lucky to be able to conduct groundbreaking research in such an exciting field here at NMSU," Fronczek said. "This award will be an important stepping stone for me in realizing my career goals and dreams."

Fronczek is a Crimson Scholar and on the dean's list. He is a member of the Omega Chi Epsilon Chemical Engineering Honor Society and the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He has recently completed his first co-op tour at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, and is currently on his second tour at White Sands Testing Facility.