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Bradley Caponigro, Cockrell School of Engineering junior and undergraduate researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been selected as a 2015-16 Astronaut Scholar.

The Astronaut Scholarship is given to “outstanding students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in the fields of engineering and natural or applied sciences.” Caponigro was selected for his exemplary academic performance, ingenuity and unique aptitude for research.

The Astronaut Scholarship was created three decades ago by the surviving Mercury 7 astronauts. Their goal was to encourage students to pursue scientific endeavors to keep the United States on the leading edge of technology.

Caponigro grew up in Round Rock, Texas. He has conducted undergraduate research in several areas, including a personal additive manufacturing project and studying the consequences of autonomous vehicles on transportation and society with Cockrell School of Engineering professor Kara Kockelman. Caponigro is currently in California participating in an internship at SpaceX. He will return to UT Austin in the spring.

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