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Bradley Caponigro, Cockrell School of Engineering junior and undergraduate researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been selected as an Astronaut Scholar for the second consecutive academic year.

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 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. Last year, Caponigro participated in internships at Caterpillar and SpaceX, working with positioning and navigation equipment for autonomous applications of their vehicles.

Photo: Caponigro with Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell. Courtesy Scott Gast.

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