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Two students receive research fellowships at the National Institute of Standards and Technology

May 14, 2012 | By Nick Alexopulos

Loyola University Maryland students Andrew Gorbaty, ’15, and Allison Rose, ’15, have been awarded 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) in engineering at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Md.

The SURF program is designed to provide hands-on research experience to promising undergraduates. More than 120 participants from across the country will each work with a mentor to conduct analysis and experiments related to a topic of importance to NIST.

Both Gorbaty, of Annapolis, Md., and Rose, of Westfield, N.J., will be assigned to the NIST Engineering Lab, where the wide range of research opportunities includes nanotechnology, measuring the performance of full-scale building structures, and determining the economic benefit of building choices. Gorbaty, an engineering major with a concentration in computer engineering, will be writing Java for an analysis occurring in the lab. Rose, a mathematics and computer science double major, will study advanced laser sensors.

“The summer research experience available to students in the sciences is essential to going beyond the classroom to a more open environment where students are answering questions that don’t have fixed answers, working in real environments, and getting a sense of what their career path really involves,” said Roger Eastman, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the computer science department at Loyola. “I’m so proud of Andrew and Allison. They are a testament to Loyola’s ability to prepare and position students for the SURF program and other elite, competitive fellowships in the science-rich Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region.”

Eastman and Mili Shah, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics and statistics at Loyola, are guest researchers at NIST and will join another NIST researcher to mentor Rose. Gorbaty will be mentored by other researchers at NIST for his project.

The science and technology disciplines are key to the Jesuit education Loyola offers its students. In September 2011, Loyola celebrated the completion of the 15,000-square-foot Donnelly Science Center expansion, which houses class laboratory spaces, research laboratories, offices, a conference room for the natural sciences, storage, a vivarium, a microscopy center, and a robotics laboratory. Loyola is currently collaborating with a group of universities under a grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a mentoring network for women professors in the sciences at predominantly undergraduate institutions. Each summer, Loyola's Hauber Fellowship provides a stipend and housing to talented undergraduate students who wish to pursue independent research in the sciences under the supervision of a faculty member.

In recent years, Loyola students have won fellowships for other projects at NIST, as well as NASA and the National Security Agency.

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