Dr. Sierra Young 

Principal Investigator 

Sierra Young is an Assistant Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Utah Water Research Laboratory at Utah State University. Broadly speaking, her research focuses on the use and development of electronics, computer vision/AI, robotics, and automation for sensing and sense-making in environmental systems. Through developing and deploying these technologies, work conducted in the DAISy Lab aims to improve our ability to monitor and understand complex environmental processes. 

Graduate Students 

Safran Khan

PhD Student

Safran Khan is a Ph.D. student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Utah State University. His research focuses on developing novel approaches that integrate deep-learning algorithms into civil engineering practices. Specifically, he is working on using convolutional neural networks (CNNs) for different tasks like structural health monitoring (SHM) and hydrological feature extraction.

Email: a02428105 [at] usu [dot] edu

Razin Bin Issa

MS Student

Razin is an M.S. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State University working on extracting hydrologic information (such as surface velocity, streambank width, etc.) from cameras using AI techniques and exploring edge vs. cloud computing for image processing. His research interests broadly center on the application of robotics, AI, space, and autonomous vehicle systems. He is constantly trying to improve as an engineer and has a keen interest in robotics and computer vision applications for the benefit of humanity.

Email: a02428103 [at] usu [dot] edu

Mitchell Bailey

MS Student (Co-Advised with Dr. Cal Coopmans)

Mitchell is an M.S. student in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Utah State working on improving UAV measurement of water properties. His interests include UAV design for autonomous missions in agricultural and ecological fields.

Email: a02400043 [at] usu [dot] edu

Dylan McPeake

MS Student

Dylan is an M.S. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State, working on monitoring water and air quality concerning harmful algal blooms. His interests include robotics and water related to ecological, stormwater, and agricultural practices. 

Email: a02422888 [at] usu [dot] edu

Undergraduate Researchers

Hannah Smith

Hannah is an undergraduate student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at USU. She is helping develop sensor systems for UAS and piloting aircraft for various research projects

Kai Francom

Kai is an undergraduate student in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at USU. He is assisting with laboratory and fieldwork related to monitoring harmful algal blooms at Utah Lake.

Hannah Fluckiger

Hannah is an undergraduate student in mathematics, statistics, and computer science at Utah State. She is helping process video and imagery for camera-based hydrologic monitoring.

Arianne Fels

Arianne Fels is a high school graduate planning on studying at Carnegie Mellon University in the fall. She is helping develop plant imaging code to analyze the effects of dust on agriculture, specifically lettuce, and hopes to present this code alongside hydroponic systems for outreach programs.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Yuzhen Lu, Postdoc (NCSU), 2020, Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University.

Graduate Students

Hemanth Dakshinamurthy, PhD, 2024 (USU), Research Scientist, South Carolina State University

Piyush Pandey, PhD, 2022 (NCSU), ORISE postdoctoral fellow at USDA-ARS.

Andrew Hillman, MS, 2021 (NCSU), PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Anh Nguyen, MS, 2021 (NCSU), PhD student at North Carolina State University.

Russell Smith, MS, 2021 (NCSU).

Undergraduate Researchers

Aspen Sorenson, Chemistry (USU), Summer 2022-2023

Isaac Orrill, Mechanical Engineering (USU), Summer 2022-2023

Spencer Corkins, Biological and Agricultural Engineering (NCSU), Spring 2020-2021.

Ian Dershem, Computer Science (UNC Chapel Hill), Spring-Summer 2021.

Evan Smith, Biological & Agricultural Engineering (NCSU), Summer 2019-2020.

John Corriher Biological & Agricultural Engineering (NCSU), Summer 2019.

Will Daniels, Computer Engineering (UNC Charlotte), Summer 2019.

Nicole Knox, Computer Engineering (NCSU), Fall 2019.