Clayton is a first-year Fellow studying Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with a concentration in Thermofluids. His research at the U.Va. Aerospace Research Laboratory involves using laser diagnostics to discern flame structure in a supersonic combustor. This will aid the design of scramjet engines - jet engines that could one day allow aircraft to travel at ten times the speed of sound. Before his graduate work, Clayton was an undergraduate student at U.Va. and worked at NASA Langley Research Center, Advanced Materials and Processing Branch.