MEM alum is a research scientist in NRL’s Computational Multiphysics Systems group

Mechanical engineering alum Steven N. Rodriguez ’18 PhD, a research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), has been selected as a 2023 MGB-SIAM Early Career Fellow by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). 

The fellowship, which was established in 2021, “recognizes the achievements of early career applied mathematicians, especially those belonging to racial and ethnic groups historically excluded from the mathematical sciences in the United States,” according to SIAM. The program “reflects a joint commitment by Mathematically Gifted & Black (MGB) and SIAM to promote long-term engagement of fellows within SIAM and continued success within the wider applied mathematics and computational sciences community.“

Fellows are selected based on their “exemplary achievements; support of diversity, equity, and inclusion in their community; and commitment to industrial and applied mathematics, computational science, and data science.”

Rodriguez’s research interests include computational physics, model-order reduction, numerical optimization, and dynamical systems. As a member of NRL’s Computational Multiphysics Systems group, Rodriguez is focused on developing a class of model-order reduction methods for meshless modeling frameworks.

“These methods leverage many concepts seen in sparse regression and nonlinear manifold discovery to enable drastic computational savings in resources and time for multiphysics and dynamical system simulations, especially in high-performance computing environments,” says Rodriguez. 

NRL recently published a feature story on his work, which he describes as: 

“Basically, we are trying to bring the power of high-performance computing to simulate physics to smaller devices like laptops or even iPads. This is tricky because there isn’t any ‘super’ hardware we can use to give smaller devices HPC capabilities. So, we have to be clever and manipulate physics equations so that these devices can handle the memory and computing demands of high-fidelity simulation. Ultimately, we want to give design engineers easy and cheap access to powerful simulations.”

In the article, he also discusses how he overcame many instances of prejudice, racism, and isolation during his education. 

While a doctoral student at Lehigh, Rodriguez was advised by Justin W. Jaworski, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics. His dissertation examined meshless computational aeroelasticity with a focus on stability analysis of helical vortex dynamics. 

Rodriguez also holds a BS in structural engineering from the University of California, San Diego. 

“I look forward to working with these fellows to have open discussions about diversity in mathematics and how we can be more effective representatives and advocates for our communities,” he says. 

Read more about Rodriguez and the full class of 2023 Class of MGB-SIAM Early Career Fellows on the SIAM News website

Steven N. Rodriguez (U.S. Navy photo by Jonathan Steffen)

2023 MGB-SIAM Early Career Fellow Steven N. Rodriguez is a Lehigh mechanical engineering PhD alum and a research scientist at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory.

Credit: U.S. Navy photo by Jonathan Steffen