Grant, a graduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, shared the 2009 award with Can Bayram.
After graduating first in his class with a degree in aero engineering at Purdue University, Indiana in 2005, Grant moved to Georgia Institute of Technology, where for his Masters research, he developed a new methodology for robotic exploration of Mars using pinpoint landing technology. "This new entry, descent and landing architecture, called Smart Divert, challenges the paradigm of Mars robotic exploration," said his tutor in his entry for the award.
In 2007, while working on his masters, Grant participated in NASA's High Mass Martian Landing design competition, winning first place with his team for their design, Heavy MEDL.
In his entry for the 2009 Boeing Engineering Student of the Year award ― which was judged by a panel of former senior Boeing engineers ― Michael's supervisor, Dr Robert Braun, professor of space technology and director of the Space Systems Design Laboratory, described Grant as an extremely intelligent and enterprising young man with tremendous potential.
- Unfortunately we were unable to contact Mr. Grant for an update on how this award has helped his career.