Grad Student Chosen as DARPA Rising Star

July 8, 2015 -- Mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate student Alexandra Efimovskaya has been named a DARPA Rising Star by the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

She is one of 56 Rising Stars selected nationally who will present posters at DARPA’s “Wait, What?” forum, scheduled Sept. 9-11 in St. Louis. The event is focused on future technologies, their potential to change the way we live and work, and the challenges they present to national security.

Efimovskaya, a doctoral candidate, works with adviser Andrei Shkel in UCI’s Microsystems Lab, where she conducts research in micro-electro-mechanical systems, including chip-scale gyroscopes, and timing and inertial measurement units. (TIMU devices enable the measurement of motion and time, including situations when GPS signals are not available.) 

At the “Wait, What?” event, the poster session will be attended by the entire DARPA staff, including project managers, directors and deputy directors. A review committee will select 10 Rising Stars to present a 5-minute talk to the staff, after which three presenters will be chosen to address the entire 1,500-attendee conference.

Efimovskaya was nominated for the honor by DARPA program manager Robert Lutwak, after DARPA’s six technical offices were asked to identify exceptional students, young industry professionals or postdoctoral scholars with exceptional potential. She will represent the agency’s MicroSystems Technology Office.

“I am very thankful to Dr. Robert Lutwak for this exciting opportunity to represent the MTO at this event,” Efimovskaya said.  

-- Anna Lynn Spitzer; photo: Debbie Morales     

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