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Marc Alwan awarded Mary Gates Research Scholarship

Sarah Chu
January 25, 2024

Marc Alwan headshot

Marc Alwan

Marc Alwan, a leader of A&A’s Husky Satellite Lab, was recently awarded a selective Mary Gates scholarship for his research amidst exceptionally strong competition. Mary Gates Research Scholarships aim to enhance the educational experience of undergraduate students at the University of Washington while they are engaged in research guided by faculty.

Alwan’s work involves developing autonomous systems to search and locate injured humans in disaster or remote environments. Using these autonomous UAVs (Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles), workers can locate people trapped under rubble by measuring their heart and respiratory rates. UAVs also have the advantage of being relatively small and lightweight in comparison to larger aerial drones, which makes them suitable for close proximity when land-based travel is challenging.

His work is especially critical in situations like earthquakes or avalanches where searching for missing persons and reporting their health conditions through radar can mean the difference between life and death.

A&A professor Karen Leung mentors Alwan. On his research award, she says, “The award is recognition of Marc's exceptional work on developing autonomous capabilities to improve search and rescue operations, and I can’t wait to see what he will accomplish!”

A big congrats to Marc on his work and receiving the scholarship!