Coos Bay, OR – Southwestern Oregon Community College wishes to congratulate our S.P.E.A.R. (STEAM Pathways Experimental & Academic Research) Team Member Cameron Miller for being selected for a 2023-24 Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium (OSGC) Student Academic Research Review (STARR) award in the amount of $3,000 for Nuclear Propulsion research. Cameron is currently a sophomore Mechanical Engineering student at Southwestern and plans to transfer into the Nuclear Engineering program at Oregon State University (OSU) after he graduates. For his research project, Cameron will be investigating the current state of research into nuclear propulsion systems with particular applications to aerospace.

About the research, Cameron says, “As a nuclear engineering student, gaining experience within my discipline can be challenging. Many professional opportunities are out of reach for undergraduates and are location exclusive. As for personal projects, things that combine “homemade” and “nuclear” are typically frowned upon by the government. To study within my discipline for an award backed by NASA is such an exceptional opportunity, and I’m incredibly thankful for it.”

The Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium opens the Student Academic Research Review (STARR) program to give undergraduate STEM students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with ongoing research in their field of interest. Program participants are asked to create a 6-8 page research paper on the topic of their choice working with a faculty mentor. These papers will become a published document and will be made available to all the space grants across the U.S. The student research must be related to the research goals of NASA.

“Cameron will write a paper explaining what the current research is on his chosen topic. It’s literally a student academic review of research being conducted by NASA, and it’s counted as a published scientific article for NASA,” says Dr. Aaron Coyner, Associate Professor, Engineering and Physics at Southwestern, and Cameron’s instructor.

Students will be invited to present their findings at the spring OSGC student symposium held at Oregon State University. Southwestern will also present a symposium of student work during spring term.

“OSGC is pleased to support this unique opportunity to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the research review process to help students be better prepared for future hands-on research opportunities,” Catherine Lanier, OSGC Director shared.


About the Oregon Space Grant Consortium (OSGC)

The Oregon Space Grant Consortium, part of the National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, is a state-wide network of universities, colleges, museums, educators, researchers, students, and science professionals. OSGC promotes STEM education through cooperative and interdisciplinary programs while recruiting and training NASA’s next diverse workforce.


For the last seven years, Dr. Aaron Coyner, Associate Professor of Physics, and Krystal Hopper-Meyers, Oregon NASA Space Grant Consortium PRISMS Project Coordinator, have been Southwestern’s OSGC Affiliate Representatives. OSGC has been an incredible supporter and resource for the College.

For more information about the Oregon NASA Space Grand Consortium or physics and engineering degrees at Southwestern contact Krystal Hopper-Meyers at 541-888-7416, or krystal.hopper@socc.edu.




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