The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation recently awarded scholarships to three Drexel students. Magda Bielinski, Kevin Knehr and Sajjan Mehta, all members of the Pennoni Honors College, were among 275 students nationwide to receive the prestigious award.
All three scholarship recipients from Drexel plan to pursue a doctorate in their respective fields, according to Cindy Schaarschmidt, coordinator of Drexel’s fellowships program.
Bielinski, a student in the electrical engineering bachelor’s/master’s program, said she plans to do research on wireless communication technology for use in healthcare.
“I am interested in advancing the integration of wireless electronic health devices into hospital environments and healthcare programs,” Bielinski said. “My specific goal/interest is to research and develop communication protocols that will allow electronic health devices with varying types of quality-of-service requirements to successfully coexist among each other and existing medical equipment in hospitals.”
Knehr, a mechanical engineering major, plans to research energy storage systems in order to make renewable energy production more efficient and cost-effective.
“Because renewable energy sources are intermittent and do not guarantee constant power production, they need to be coupled with energy storage technologies in order to be feasible power generators,” Knehr said. “Unfortunately, most of these storage technologies need significant improvements in order to become viable options. … My current research ambition is to significantly increase the energy storage capabilities of our society by either improving upon an existing technology or developing an entirely new energy storage device.”
In addition to researching, Knehr also hopes to teach and influence others.
“My long-term goal as a researcher is to become a professor at a prestigious university, where I can utilize the knowledge I gain as a researcher to educate the public about today’s energy challenges and train the next generation of engineers,” Knehr said.
Mehta, a bachelor’s/master’s student majoring in physics and mathematics, plans to research particle cosmology and mathematical physics as well as become a university professor.
“I hope to be able to contribute to the current progress of some of the outstanding problems in physics in an attempt to further our understanding of the universe and the fundamental laws of nature,” Mehta said. “I additionally enjoy teaching and sharing the beauty of science, which simply furthers my desire to pursue a career in academia.”
The U.S. Congress established the Goldwater Foundation in 1986 to honor then-Senator Barry M. Goldwater. Since 1989, the foundation has awarded over 6,600 scholarships to highly qualified undergraduates in the fields of science, mathematics and engineering. This year’s winners were selected from a field of 1,095 applicants, according to a press release on the Goldwater Foundation’s website.