Purdue News

October 14, 2005

Purdue students receive science and engineering fellowships

West Lafayette, Ind. – Purdue University has announced that two science and engineering graduate students received the 2005 Purdue Excellence in Science and Engineering Fellowship from Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico.

Mark Thoreson, a doctorate student in the College of Engineering, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering from Allison, Iowa, and Laura Biedermann, a doctorate student in the College of Science from Baton Rouge, La., received the fellowships.

Recipients received their awards from Joseph Polito, program director for integrated and enabling service at Sandia National Laboratories. Polito earned his master's and doctorate degrees in industrial engineering from Purdue in 1974 and 1977, respectively. Sandia National Laboratories awards about 35 fellowships annually across the nation. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Michigan, Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley represent some of the other universities with 2005 recipients.

The fellowships are awarded annually to top graduate students in science and engineering across the United States to encourage innovation in science-based, multi-disciplinary research. The one-year fellowships come with a $25,000 stipend and can be renewed for up to five years.

"These fellowships are important for a number of reasons," said Jay Gore, co-chair of the Purdue-Sandia Leadership Council, associate dean for the Purdue College of Engineering and the Vincent P. Reilly Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering. "They give the graduate students an opportunity to focus on their research and the chance to network and learn from a nationally-respected laboratory. They also help promote research and careers in the fields of science and engineering."

The Purdue-Sandia Leadership Council was formed by Sally Mason, Purdue provost; J. Pave VanDevender, Sandia vice president; Linda Katehi, the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering; and Polito.

Thoreson earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University in 2000. He is a second-year doctoral student at Purdue, and a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc., the Optical Society of America and the International Society for Optical Engineering.

Biedermann graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor's degree in physics in 2004. She is a second-year graduate student in physics at Purdue, and received the Ross Doctoral Fellowship in 2004 and was an honorable mention for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship in 2005. She is an active member of Women in Physics and Women in Science.

Purdue's College of Engineering is made up of 14 academic programs: aeronautics and astronautics, agricultural and biological, biomedical, chemical, civil, construction engineering and management, electrical and computer, engineering education, first-year engineering, industrial, interdisciplinary, materials, mechanical and nuclear. More than 6,400 undergraduate students and nearly 2,500 graduate students are enrolled in Purdue engineering programs. In its most recent rankings, U.S. News and World Report magazine named Purdue the No. 8 undergraduate and graduate engineering program in the country, and many of Purdue's programs were ranked in the top 10 nationally.

The College of Science is comprised of seven academic departments: biological sciences, chemistry, computer sciences, Earth and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, physics and statistics. The school has 290 faculty members, approximately 3,000 undergraduate majors and nearly 1,000 graduate students. The school is noted for the breadth and depth of research being conducted in all areas of the life and physical sciences, and many of its programs are ranked in the top 25 nationally.

Sandia National Laboratories is one of the largest federal laboratories in the United States. With major laboratory locations in New Mexico and northern California, Sandia employs more than 8,000 regular employees and contractors. Major programs at Sandia involve basic and applied research in physical sciences, biology and information science, as well as engineering program in defense, energy and environment. For the past decade Sandia has built a significant portfolio of activities in homeland defense, including intelligence technologies, hardening of buildings and key public assets, cybersecurity and multi-spectrum sensor technologies.

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, csequin@purdue.edu

Source: Jay Gore, (765) 494-2122. gore@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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