WNCG Alum Receives ION Congressional Fellowship

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March 10, 2017

WNCG alumnus Kyle Wesson was selected as the 2016-2017 Institute of Navigation’s (ION) Congressional Science and Technology Policy Fellow.

Sponsored through the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), ION’s congressional fellow is selected from among eligible ION members to serve a one year appointment in Washington, DC, as a member of the personal staff of a US Senator or House Representative or to the professional staff of a Congressional Committee.

Fellows serve yearlong assignments in the federal government and represent a broad range of backgrounds, disciplines and career stages. Roughly 300 fellows are selected each year and placed throughout all branches of federal government.

AAAS Science and Technology Fellowships provide opportunities to outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking and to contribute their knowledge and analytical skills to the policy realm.

Dr. Wesson has served as a Fellow in the office of US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) since October 2016. His expertise will help inform the Senator’s work on the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Armed Services.

During the first half of his fellowship, Dr. Wesson assisted with a range of legislative issues regarding transportation, cyber security, GPS navigation, telecommunication and automated vehicles. His fellowship will conclude in August 2017.

“The ION Fellowship has been an amazing opportunity to bring my technical knowledge, skills, and passion for engineering to the Hill to help inform policy and assist policymakers,” Dr. Wesson states.

Prior to receiving the fellowship, Dr. Wesson worked in private industry to support the Federal Aviation Administration in their efforts to strengthen GPS and aviation equipment against natural and manmade interference.

At WNCG and UT Austin, Dr. Wesson was a member of the Radionavigation Laboratory led by Prof. Todd Humphreys, as well as the Embedded Signal Processing Laboratory led by Prof. Brian Evans. The two WNCG professors served as his co-advisors for Dr. Wesson’s PhD research on GPS security.

“I want to thank my mentors in graduate school and in my early career who encouraged me to pursue policy interests and supported my research,” Dr. Wesson states. “I urge all engineers to explore the world of policy during their career. I have found that it brings an entirely new dimension to thinking about the many technical challenges that we face today.”