Once a physics teacher in the Navy, now a ‘car guy’ at Stanford
John Alsterda, a doctoral student who is developing a new emergency avoidance controller for self-driving cars, is one of 91 military service veterans studying at Stanford. As John Alsterda neared the end of his assignment at the U.S. Navy’s Nuclear Power School in South Carolina, he decided it was time to pursue his dream of earning a doctorate. Initially, he planned to study nuclear engineering. But Alsterda changed course after watching a self-driving coupe named Shelley zip around a racetrack at 120 mph in a video published by the Dynamic Design Lab, which is part of the Mechanical Engineering Department in Stanford’s School of Engineering.