Society diversity

Graduate Student Wins Prestigious Society of Women Engineers Scholarship – WSU Insider

Chemical engineering graduate student Naseeha Cardwell is one in 1,000 – recently chosen from 1,100 applicants for a 2022 Intel Graduate Diversity Scholarship from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).

It’s a place she never expected and made possible by the support she received along the way.

“Being the first woman in my family to have a college education and the first in my family on the path to pursuing a PhD, there are many things I never would have even realized I would need to know or even be possible, so there are definitely moments of self-doubt and uncertainty in this journey,” she said. “Receiving scholarships is a proud experience, but having the support and recognition is the main part. Just knowing that there are people and organizations dedicated to supporting and uplifting me is a huge relief as I continue on this journey.”

A native of Des Moines, Washington, Cardwell came to WSU after earning her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Montana State University. She has an interest in the development of sustainable fuels and began her career with internships at the Department of Energy and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where she studied the corrosion of nuclear glass waste.

His current research focuses on the development of biofuels and the use of computational efforts for the catalytic upgrading of biofuels. It works to improve the efficiency of catalytic processes to make biofuels more competitive with petroleum-based fuels. She is also collaborating with experimenters at the Pacific National Lab on the use of electric fields to attenuate the oxidation of iron-based catalysts. Eventually, she hopes to work in a national laboratory, conducting renewable energy research in the area of ​​computational catalysis.

“I hope to continue research into biofuel upgrading, because that’s where I think sustainability should be a focus,” she said. “My experience and my research have shown me that biofuels are a necessary part of our future. The instantaneous nature of these fuels allows us to retain our already existing infrastructure while using more sustainable feedstock, allowing us to make lasting changes to the systems we rely on.

Cardwell first became involved in SWE while in college, and her advisor and friends in the band were influential in her decision to attend graduate school. At WSU, she served as the professional development coordinator for the group. The group organizes workshops and panels specifically for female graduate engineering students.

“GradSWE is a great organization for students because we support female engineering graduates through various events,” she said. “I am happy to be part of this organization and this chapter, not only because of its success, but because all the women who make up this club are so wonderful and supportive.”

In fact, one of his colleagues at SWE recommended that he apply for the Intel Fellowship, which will provide Cardwell with $10,000 as well as mentorship and job opportunities.

“SWE is a great organization in that it gives back to us, it also encourages us to give back to others, which is very important to me,” she said.

Cardwell is grateful for the support she has received throughout her school journey, including family, counselors, co-workers, friends and fellow SWEs.

“I really encourage others to join organizations, even if SWE isn’t right for you – having a supportive community that you can support is important for everyone’s success and well-being,” she said. declared.