Five MNE students chosen for prestigious NSF Fellowship

April 12, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Five students who completed their undergraduate education in the Penn State Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering (MNE) have earned a place in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

Receiving this prestigious honor are mechanical engineering students Lydia Brough, Mark Frederick, Aaron Kandel, Michael Trowbridge, and Michael Meehan. The program recruits high-potential, early-career scientists and engineers and supports their graduate research training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. These outstanding students were chosen from more than 12,000 applicants.

“This accomplishment speaks to the incredible work these students have accomplished during their time at MNE,” Karen Thole, distinguished professor and MNE department head, said. “We are so proud to be educating the next generation of STEM leaders.”

Launched in 1952, the GRFP is a critical program to develop a globally engaged workforce necessary to ensure the nation's leadership in advancing science and engineering research and innovation. Former NSF Fellows have made transformative breakthroughs in STEM, are leaders in their chosen careers, and have been honored as Nobel Laureates.

The program provides three years of financial support within the five-year fellowship period to cover tuition and a living stipend to obtain a research-focused master’s or doctoral degree. The students will also have the opportunity to collaborate on international research projects and complete federal internships to supplement their educations.


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The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519