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Engineering graduate students receive NSF research fellowships

Updated Aug. 16, 2016

Eleven engineering students have been awarded graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation. Nine current Vanderbilt engineering students and two former undergraduate students are recipients of research funds.

The Vanderbilt graduate students are Francis Afzal (Truman State University), electrical engineering; Sean Bedingfield (Utah State University), biomedical engineering; Carcia Carson (Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program), biomedical engineering; Reid William D’Amico (Duke University), biomedical engineering; Erik Lamers (University of Dayton), mechanical engineering; Christian Thomas Meyer (Colorado State University), biomedical engineering; Peter Orme (Harvey Mudd College), mechanical engineering; Katy Riojas (University of Tulsa), mechanical engineering, and Patrick Wellborn (Washington and Lee University), mechanical engineering.

Two Vanderbilt engineering undergraduate students who also received NSF fellowships are pursuing their graduate studies elsewhere. They are Kimberly Ingraham, mechanical engineering, University of Michigan; and Laura Mast, environmental engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) provides fellowships to individuals selected early in their graduate careers based on their demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.

GRFP provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period – $34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution. That support is for graduate study that leads to a research-based master’s or doctoral degree.

For the 2016 competition, NSF received close to 17,000 applications, and made 2,000 award offers. The group is diverse, including 1,077 women, 424 individuals from underrepresented minority groups, 62 persons with disabilities, 35 veterans and 627 senior undergraduates.

The new fellows come from 488 baccalaureate institutions – 104 more institutions than in 2010, when GRFP began awarding 2,000 fellowships each year.

GRFP is a critical program in NSF’s overall strategy in developing the globally-engaged workforce necessary to ensure America’s leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering