"It was an amazing experience to be able to continue my work on driver interface safety from the fall and winter into the summer. Since it was a new project, we have been spending most of the year conducting literature reviews and preparing reports. I wanted to experience the experimentation and data analysis side of the project. Through this opportunity, I was able to do that. 

During the year this project was just a 3-person team and I did most of my work independently. However, this summer, it became an 8-person team. It was a bit challenging at first to get used to the difference in the lab environment and work on this project with a team. It was a good experience to work on a research project with a large team and learn about balancing team comradery with completing the work required of us. I enjoyed having people to bounce ideas off instead of having to wait until my mentor was available.  

Unfortunately, due to some unforeseen setbacks, we haven’t been able to run the experiment yet, but we are planning on running it soon. We want to be able to test all our predictions from the literature review and give a complete report to our sponsor by September. I am excited to witness the experiment we’ve been planning over this summer and analyze the data we collect to see if the work we’ve been doing over the last year aligns with the data. Despite this being a setback, I was still able to learn from it and troubleshoot to the best of our ability. 

I find it rewarding to be able to be on this project from start until the project’s projected end date, it has truly been an eye-opening experience. Thanks to the MRADS Fellowship I was able to truly see the whole lifetime of a research project and experience working with a large team."

-Ekim Koca, MRADS Alumni Scholarship Recipient