OSU grad to apply OSC skills to Defense research

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Aug 19, 2009) — 

Laura Humphrey thought that assisting researchers at the Ohio Supercomputer Center while she pursued her Ph.D. at The Ohio State University might be more rewarding than serving as a graduate teaching associate.

Soon, Humphrey will begin applying what she learned at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC) over the last three years to a position where she will study artificial intelligence and control systems for unmanned airborne vehicles. She has been hired to begin that new job in October with the Air Vehicles Directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), which is located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Beavercreek, Ohio.

“Instead of grading papers, I was able to study real problems and take part in real projects,” said Humphrey of her tenure at OSC. Later this month, the Pickerington, Ohio, native will don a cap and gown to receive her doctorate in electrical engineering from OSU.

Humphrey recently completed her doctoral dissertation, which described her computational model of a human with a more sophisticated representation of a foot than was previously available to clinical researchers. This advance, she said, has the capability of aiding in the clinical diagnosis and treatment of motor control disorders, improvement of prostheses, and development of functional electrical stimulation for recovery of lost motor function.

At OSC, Humphrey worked on Department of Defense projects at the center’s research division, studying image processing applications and evaluating high-level languages. She collaborated closely with several OSC researchers at the facility on Ohio State’s west campus and with on-site research staff at various Defense facilities.

“AFRL should know they're getting a sterling performer with a solid track record in research,” said Judith Gardiner, senior computational science researcher at OSC. “We have counted on her to research a topic thoroughly, create high-quality code and write comprehensive reports.”

Established in 1987, OSC provides supercomputing, cyberinfrastructure, research and educational resources to a diverse state and national community, including education, academic research, industry and state government.

AFRL employs over 4,000 civilian personnel across the country and is responsible for planning and executing the Air Force's science and technology program. Humphrey will join a team of about 20 civilians, military officers and on-site contractors, who lead the development of advanced control technologies.