SMART Scholarships Awarded to PhD Students

College of Engineering doctoral students Kevin Woods BSME ’07, MSME ’08 and Steven Miller have each received a Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship. Established by the Department of Defense (DoD), the SMART Scholarship for Service Program supports students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math. It also strives to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers working in DoD facilities.

In addition to funding tuition, the scholarship provides a book allowance, a stipend, and benefits. For his part, Woods will take on paid summer internships at the Philadelphia site of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division. After earning his PhD, he will receive a competitive salary to work for the Office of Naval Research for three years—with the likelihood of continued employment after this commitment is fulfilled.

Dr. Alfonso Ortega, the Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research and the James R. Birle Professor of Energy Technology, has been Woods’ advisor for more than two years. “This fellowship will allow Kevin to work with me on a dissertation topic that will advance the state of the art in the thermal sciences. Kevin also will serve as a liaison between the Navy and my lab, the Laboratory for Advanced Thermal and Fluid Systems, thus increasing the opportunities for collaboration.”

A mechanical engineer, Miller has been working at the Philadelphia Navy site since 2004 and earning a PhD part time since 2007. Thanks to the scholarship, Miller will now be able to pursue his degree on a full-time basis. This fall, he will begin his research for his dissertation, which will revolve around the microscale, electrochemical processes that occur within solid oxide fuel cells.

“Steve has made remarkable progress on his course work while working full time,” said Miller’s advisor, Dr. Amy Fleischer, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. “We are very excited about the opportunities offered by the SMART scholarship for Steven to concentrate on the development of his research.”

SMART Scholarship winner Kevin Woods, BSME ’07, MSME ’08
SMART Scholarship winner Kevin Woods, BSME ’07, MSME ’08
SMART Scholarship winner Steven Miller
SMART Scholarship winner Steven Miller