Meet the 2022-2023 IEEE-USA Government Fellows

Lucy Hu, Congressional Fellow

Lucy Hu


Lucy Hu is a medical device engineer by training, with both research and hospital experience in critical care medicine. She earned a Ph.D. in Medical Engineering & Medical Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, using soft robotics to develop better ventilators to improve quality-of-life in end-of-life care, and a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

While at MIT, she worked to improve graduate student conditions through many modes of activism. Through MIT’s Science Policy Initiative, she led Congressional Visit Days for graduate students to advocate in D.C. for pressing federal legislative issues that shape the experience of scientific trainees. While on campus, Lucy served as an energetic union organizer with the MIT Graduate Student Union, bringing together diverse coalitions of graduate students to campaign for the working conditions necessary to produce world-class science.

As an IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow, Lucy is excited to tackle issues in health, environment, and labor policy to build an equitable and just future.

Ashley Williams, IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow

Ashley Williams


Ashley Williams earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University, where her dissertation research focused on understanding the impacts of design choices in a novel neurotechnology on neural signal acquisition. She was awarded a Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Predoctoral Individual Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research to support her Ph.D. research. Her interest in policy and ethics led her to earn a concurrent A.M. in Bioethics and Science Policy, also from Duke University. Ashley obtained her B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

Ashley is a staunch advocate of scientists being involved in science communication and policy. While pursuing her Ph.D., Ashley was involved in developing ethical guidelines for neurotechnology development with the IEEE Brain Neuroethics initiative. She also wrote and published informative publicly available science briefs with the Duke SciPol project and contributed to a Public Comment to the Federal Register on a proposed FAA regulation. Ashley looks forward to using her passion for science and curiosity for a broad range of topics to generate policy solutions in Congress.

Rory S. Fitzpatrick, State Department Fellow

Rory S. Fitzpatrick


Rory Fitzpatrick earned her Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Michigan, where she studied the neutrino, one of nature’s most abundant fundamental particles. She made her first foray into particle physics research through dark matter experiments as an undergrad pursuing Physics and Computer Science at Princeton University.

Rory’s graduate work took her to Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois; she was involved in the development of both neutrino detection technology and analysis techniques for interpreting big datasets. She also nurtured her interest in the management and facilitation of long-term, large-scale international research endeavors.

Most recently, Rory completed an M.S. in Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, a program at the intersection of law, business, and technology. While there, she pursued and promoted interdisciplinary research through the Law and Technology Initiative and fostered her enthusiasm for governance of emerging technologies including artificial intelligence. She has experience applying data analytics for business development inside law firms.

Robert Melville, USAID Fellow

Robert Melville


Robert (Bob) Melville earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University following undergraduate training at the University of Delaware. He worked for 16 years at Bell Laboratories developing numerical methods for circuit simulation, followed by a productive collaboration with a group doing RF design. Bob next joined the teaching faculty at Columbia University, where he developed and taught courses in electronic measurement and circuit design.

In 2005, he decided to pursue a life-long dream to support scientific work in Antarctica and was one of 64 people to spend the entire winter at the South Pole. There he was responsible for equipment that monitored the interaction between the magnetic fields of the Sun and the Earth. He subsequently returned to Antarctica for numerous shorter deployments continuing engineering support for remote science stations using a mixture of solar and wind power.

Bob runs a prototyping facility in New Jersey and has always been interested in appropriate-technology engineering for humanitarian applications. Some recent example projects include a point-of-use illumination device for surgery under difficult conditions and an inexpensive antenna to be used as part of a backup communications grid in Puerto Rico.

Bob loves engineering and implementation challenges, but is also sensitive to the context in which solutions will be used. He enjoys studying foreign languages and has earned the ZMP certification in German and Delf B2 in French. Bob looks forward to using his experience and expertise to develop sustainable power systems for medical facilities in Africa!