Senior Profiles: Micah Foster: Hands-on in both research and building communities

Micah Foster always loved “building stuff,” but he never imagined his work in mechanical engineering would lead him to conducting research with NASA.

Foster and four other GW engineering undergraduates were selected for an experiment that they developed and submitted to NASA’s Microgravity University Program. The team will travel to Houston for a week in June to perform their experiment in the microgravity facility provided by NASA in a trip completely funded by the University.

“We are essentially investigating how droplets form without the presence of gravity. We will be looking at how fluid droplets form in a microgravity environment, and how it compares to droplets forming at the Earth’s surface,” he said.

As a freshman, Foster conducted research through a fellowship with the Center for Biomimetics and Bioinspired Engineering at GW. The goal of the research was to replicate fish fins in order to create a device that could help divers swim more efficiently, he explained.

Foster has also been a dedicated member of GW’s Engineers Without Borders, serving as the president of the chapter his sophomore and junior years. The organization works to partner groups of university students and professional chapters with communities around the world. They set up large developmental projects with the goal of creating a sustainable impact on the various communities.

One of Foster’s goals under his presidency was to have the chapter complete its first international trip. During the summer after his sophomore year, the organization completed the goal and sent three students and a professional engineer to Kenya to perform a site visit for a proposed technical school.

He later collaborated with the D.C. Professionals chapter of Engineers Without Borders to send students to El Salvador. The chapter was installing a pipeline system that would give running water to a village of a couple hundred families.

Last month, Foster was the recipient of the School of Engineering and Applied Science Distinguished Scholar Award for his accomplishments. He will be attending Cornell University next fall, working on a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.

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