AEM Student Elected to Participate in MSROP

Participants receive $4,000 stipend for personal and research expenses


MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL (6/21/21) – Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics student Samir Patel is a senior at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities who has been participating in the Multicultural Summer Research Opportunities Program. Patel will receive a $4,000 stipend for personal and research expenses plus an additional research stipend assigned by his faculty mentor, Ryan Caverly.


MSROP is an intensive 10-week summer program in which undergraduate students of color work full-time with a faculty mentor on a research project. The cohort-based program includes a series of seminars preparing students for graduate school and developing research skills. 10 to 15 students are accepted into MSROP each summer.


Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Patel has been able to focus on his research in part due to the fact he had previously worked with Professor Caverly and was familiar with his environment even if it were virtual. Patel is searching for a way to implement constrained attitude parameterizations to calculate the position and orientation of a payload on a cable-driven robot system. The Aerospace, Robotics, Dynamics, and Control (ARDC) Lab has used unconstrained parametrizations to calculate the position and orientation of a payload. He and Professor Caverly are taking this a step further by making use of constrained parameterizations, such as Axis-Angle Parameters and Quaternions, which they believe can result in measurements that are more accurate. The goal of this research is to determine whether the constrained attitude parameterizations are more accurate at measuring the payload’s position and orientation than the unconstrained attitude parameterizations.


“Not only am I able to challenge myself by applying previous knowledge I learned from [Professor Caverly’s] Dynamics course, but also look ahead to more complex and advanced methods of kinematics that I am applying on my current research project. Since I started working with [him] as a sophomore, I have learned a lot about cable robotics, as well as academic research. He has been a great mentor to me, and I have really enjoyed working on his team.” – Samir Patel


MSROP has been a great experience for Patel who has been thrilled to meet other undergraduates with different majors and get to know them personally learning about their majors, research, and career aspirations. “It has been inspiring to learn about the variety of career opportunities from mentors and speakers, as well as exciting to discuss future goals with fellow students. I am very grateful for this experience, and hope to keep in touch with the cohort after we complete the program!


The undergraduate is also appreciative of his time with his faculty mentor and other researchers in the ARDCL. He has learned much and looks forward to learning more, particularly when the other MSROP students share their research at the end of the program. His time at MSROP has been beneficial and likely an experience he will not forget.


In the future, the undergraduate hopes to pursue graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering then work in a company like Boeing ideally on projects involving commercial aircrafts and wingtips.


For more information on MSROP, visit the Office of Undergraduate Research’s website.