ISE grad student Fietek to intern at NASA as GEM Fellow

Posted: April 13, 2023
Photo of a young man in a suit
Carter Fietek

ISE Graduate Research Associate Carter Fietek (’26) is realizing what he calls “a once in a lifetime opportunity” after he was named a GEM Fellow by the National GEM Consortium. 

Fietek, an Ohio State ISE PhD candidate, says receiving the fellowship is “something that many graduate students only dream about.” 

“I am so thankful and lucky to have this opportunity,” he says. 

As part of the award, Fietek will receive a $20,000 award, which he plans to use toward tuition and research over the next year. 

“I’m working on inverse identification of material properties as part of the larger effort called ‘Material Testing 2.0,’” he says. “The concept behind ‘Material Testing 2.0’ is to use more efficient tests to obtain a fuller picture or calibration of the material by using advanced full-field techniques like digital image correlation. I’ll be working next fall on a project to identify material anisotropy in metal sheets.” 

Fietek holds two bachelor’s degrees in aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering; both are from New Mexico State University. As a GEM Fellow, he also will take part in an internship program at NASA this summer where he will work on a hypersonic program employing computational solid mechanics. 

Founded in 1976 at the University of Notre Dame, the National GEM Consortium’s mission is “to enhance the value of the nation’s human capital by increasing the participation of underrepresented groups at the master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science.” 

Fietek, who specializes in manufacturing processes, says he learned about the program while researching the top 10 fellowships available for engineering students. 

“The application process was very straightforward and is also intended to help students in preparing for a graduate school application,” he says. “I had to provide a short personal statement, curriculum vitae and GRE scores. Additionally, I had to apply to at least three GEM Fellowship partner universities, all of which provided application fee waivers, and many invited me to tour the university and to see their program.” 

Fietek says the GEM Consortium also offers a number of professional development opportunities, which he says he looks forward to pursuing. 


Story by Nancy Richison

Category: Student