College of Engineering News Room

Ossie Douglas Awarded NASA Space Technology Research Graduate Fellowship


Ossie Douglas

Ossie Douglas, a third-year doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been awarded a prestigious NASA Space Technology Research Graduate Opportunities (NSTRGO) fellowship. The award, valued at up to $80,000 annually, will allow Douglas to study “Spin manipulation in phase-engineered monolayer Janus TMDCs for low power device operation in extreme environments.” This project seeks to advance the field of quantum spintronics for practical applications on future long-term, deep space exploration missions, and will enable Douglas to work alongside NASA scientists through visiting technologist experiences as he works toward his PhD.

The goal of NASA Space Technology Graduate Research Opportunities (NSTGRO) is to support U.S. citizen and permanent resident graduate students who show significant potential to contribute to NASA’s goal of creating innovative new space technologies for our nation’s science, exploration, and economic future. With this award, Douglas is the fifth College of Engineering student or graduate to receive a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship.

Douglas is advised by Department of Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Michael Cai Wang, who is principal investigator of the Nanomechanics, Nanomaterials, Nanomaterials, Nanomanufacturing Laboratory (NM3L).

“Receiving this award will enable Ossie to pursue high-risk, high-reward research into the synthesis of atomically-thin, asymmetric 2D materials that have interesting quantum properties such as Rashba spin splitting, by leveraging the ultra-high vacuum molecular beam epitaxy techniques that we are developing in our group,” Wang said. 

Douglas has served as a departmental teaching assistant and received support from the GEM Consortium Fellowship, University Graduate Fellowship, NSF FGLSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate Fellowship Activity, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation University of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) graduate scholarship. Throughout the doctoral program, Douglas has benfited from research training at the USF Nanotechnology Research & Education Center (NREC). This support has lead to one coauthored journal paper in Advanced Electronic Materials, a conference paper, and presentations at national meetings. His career goals are to become a professor and make impactful contributions in 2D materials as an innovator and mentor of students from diverse backgrounds.