ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 16, 2010)—Not many people are able to say they’ve earned the chance to work with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Ohio University graduate student Greg Campbell, who began a co-op at the NASA Glenn Research Center earlier this month, can do just that.
Campbell, a 2008 graduate of the School of Visual communication and now a graduate student in the J. Warren McClure School of Information and Telecommunication Systems, began his co-operative with the aeronautics and space research facility in the beginning of February. After initially applying for another job in the center last summer, Campbell was offered the co-op position just a few months later. He described the chance to work with NASA as “incredible,” and one that is designed to provide its trainees with work experience to continue their education in the field.
“I feel that the co-op position is a good opportunity for me to gain valuable working experience,” Campbell said. “[It’s an opportunity] to get my foot in the door at NASA and to further my research.”
Campbell said he expects his job with NASA to focus primarily on investigating technologies for infrastructure upgrades within the research center. He previously worked for the organization with other graduate students from the Russ College of Engineering and the Scripps College of Communication by researching Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN), a project funded by grant money that the university receives from NASA.
“It’s a very interesting and engaging subject,” Campbell says. “I feel incredibly fortunate to have a chance to research it.”
According to Dr. Shawn Ostermann, Ohio University chair and associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, DTN research focuses on understanding what causes the delay in sending and receiving satellite messages in deep space compared to the ones that are sent on Earth. Using the Internet as an example, Ostermann described how messages can end up “talking around planets” for several days or weeks when sent, which complicates communication.
However, with the help of students, researchers at OHIO are looking to develop protocol that facilitates this problem in space.
“The university has been working with NASA for years,” Ostermann said. “We really value the work of OU students.”
Ostermann described the Campbell’s genuine interest in research as one of many qualities that may have helped him to obtain his co-op position.
“Greg is a very energetic student and very curious,” he said. “He’s impressive. One of the things he really values is not only knowing how something works, but also figuring out why it works that way.”
Also on campus, Campbell handled much of the component programming for the award-winning 2008 edition of the Soul of Athens Web site under the direction of Eric Kramer, a visiting professional.
Campbell hopes his inquisitiveness, strong research skills and work ethic show in his everyday work at NASA Glenn and says there’s more he’d like to do for the organization.
“I’m hoping this co-op will lead to a full-time position,” Campbell said.