Meet Our Students

   10 Questions with: 

   Alexandra Vest, PhD Mechanical Engineering ‘23

     1. What are your research interests?

     I am interested in the behavior of 3D printed materials. In particular, I work with metals and their mechanical           properties under varying processing parameters.

     2. What hobbies/interests do you have outside of lab or classes?

     My main hobby outside of school is fitness. I am very into weight-lifting, not so much cardio. I also enjoy working on anything with an engine.          I have 2 trucks, a car, a motorcycle, and an ATV.

    3. What’s the best class you’ve ever taken?

     The best classes I ever took were LITEC (Embedded Control) and Physics of Nuclear Reactors.

   4. If you could speak and be heard by everyone in the world for one minute, what would you say?

   I would play the song “Why Can’t We Be Friends?” for everyone to hear.

   5. What acquired skill have you always wanted to learn?

   I wish I could dance well!

   6. What’s your current favorite show to binge watch on Netflix?

   Call the Midwife

   7. Are you a die-hard fan of any sports teams?

   I’m from Maryland, so I have to be a Baltimore Ravens fan.

   8. What’s something that you love that everyone you know hates?

   I love the summer heat, but everyone in NY seems to prefer winter.

   9. What was the best Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?

   I was Gene Simmons (lead singer of the band KISS) one year in middle school with full face paint and a wig.

   10. If you could relive one day of your life, which day would you choose to relive?

   The day I was notified that I received a huge scholarship to go to the high school. I had been working on getting it for 2 years.​


Tucker Babcock, PhD Aerospace Engineering '22

Awarded NASA Fellowship

Tucker Babcock, doctoral studentTucker Babcock, a doctoral student in aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been awarded a NASA fellowship.

Tucker is part of MANE’s BS-PhD Program, completing his BS-AERO in 2019.

Read more about it at:


Malcolm Porterfield, PhD Mechanical Engineering ‘21
Awarded National GEM Consortium Fellowship at
Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Malcolm Porterfield, PhD Mechanical Engineering ‘21Malcolm is an alumnus of Albany High School, and spent his first two years of undergraduate education at Hudson Valley Community College, after which he transferred to RPI. Following graduation, he continued his studies at RPI as a M.Eng./PhD student. Malcolm‘s PhD thesis research focuses on investigating phase-change in thin water films, to gain an insight in how thermodynamic properties change at small scale. For his research he uses Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) that he runs on RPI CCNI super-computer. Throughout his studies Malcolm was supported by GAANN fellowship and was recently selected to be a National GEM Consortium Fellow in the Technology Development Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Read more about it at:


Camden Blake, PhD Nuclear Engineering ‘26
Awarded a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy

Camden Blake, PhD Nuclear Engineering '26Camden Blake, who is pursuing his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, was recently awarded a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has received $161,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a fellowship to support the research of a student pursuing a degree in nuclear energy and engineering at Rensselaer. Camden’s research centers on developing a fast, efficient method for modeling temperature in a nuclear reactor — a complex measurement that can range greatly. Camden will conduct his research with Wei Ji, an associate professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering at Rensselaer, and director of the Rensselaer Nuclear Engineering Advanced Modeling and Simulation Group.