Returning Scholar Joins NASA University-Led Initiative

Posted: January 31, 2020

Anna Misley
“’You’re the right person for the position,’ he said. I was terrified.”

Anna Misley, a former visiting scholar, was planning to return to the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) and join several research projects when Marcello Canova, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, sent her a link to a job application.

“In the beginning I was terrified, because I thought that something had gone wrong with my application for CAR, but in the end, it was actually good news,” said Misley. The job application was for a position with the NASA University-Led Initiative (ULI) led by The Ohio State University; a project that is developing hybrid-electric propulsion systems for airplanes. The NASA ULI is made up of five teams at five different universities, each with its own research focus. The team at CAR is focused on creating integrated battery storage systems. As the project nears its midpoint, there is a need for someone to coordinate the teams so that testing can begin. Enter Misley.

“They need someone that brings everyone together, and can learn quickly, because you won’t find anyone that knows everything in the project,” Misley says. “It’s five different universities for a reason!”

Misley earned her PhD from the University of Genoa in Genoa, Italy, where PhD programs are different than those in America. Those who earn doctorate degrees in the United States are highly specialized in their field, but Misley’s degree has made her specialized in another sort of way.

For the NASA ULI, Misley says, “They’ve been looking for someone that has both modeling and experimental experience. The lucky part of my PhD was that I did a bit of both, so I don’t know modeling in great detail, I don’t know experimental in great detail, but I see how they go together and the limitations of one and the other.”

While Misley is the right person for the job, the position has a lot of pull for her, too. Working on the project will allow her to keep learning and work with people from various universities, original equipment manufacturers, and NASA. But the icing on the cake is returning to CAR.

“I liked CAR the moment I got here. So, for me, it wasn’t even coming back to the US, it was coming back to CAR.”

Written by Georgia Drost, CAR writing intern

Category: Research