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 of electronics, robotics, and automation for sensing and sense-making in environmental systems. She has expertise in deploying unoccupied systems (including land, air, and surface vehicles) for hydrologic, environmental, and agricultural applications.

Graduate Students

Hemanth Dakshinamurthy

PhD Student

Hemanth is a Ph.D. student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Utah State working on automated measurement of soil moisture content using UAVs. In general, he is interested in learning about machines and mechanisms and how to implement them in daily life, and is always working on becoming a better engineer.

Email: a02380665

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.


Undergraduate Researchers

Aspen Sorensen

Aspen is an undergraduate student in the Chemistry department at USU. She is conducting lab analyses and field sampling to improve our understanding of arsenic pollution at the Great Salt Lake.

Isaac Orrill

Isaac is an undergraduate student in the mechanical engineering department at USU. He is developing and testing an automated water sampling device for use with unoccupied surface vehicles (USVs).


Postdoctoral Researchers

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

Graduate Students

Piyush Pandey, PhD, 2019-2022 (NCSU), ORISE postdoctoral fellow at USDA-ARS.

Andrew Hillman, MS, 2019-2021 (NCSU), PhD student at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Anh Nguyen, MS, 2019-2021 (NCSU), PhD student at North Carolina State University.

Russell Smith, MS, 2019-2021 (NCSU).

Undergraduate Researchers

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.