Two Duke University juniors have been selected as scholars by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program.
Kushal Seetharam and Yaohua Xue are among 271 students awarded Goldwater Scholarships for the 2013-14 academic year. The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.
The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a national field of more than 1,100 mathematics, science and engineering students. The scholarship program honoring the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering.
Seetharam, an Angier B. Duke Scholar from Great Falls, is a physics and electrical and computer engineering double major. He intends to earn a Ph.D. in applied physics, and wants to conduct research in applications of electromagnetics and photonics.
Seetharam is currently working on a project to improve wireless energy transfer with metamaterials. His faculty advisor is David R. Smith, director of Duke’s Center for Metamaterials and Integrated Plasmonics and an engineering professor.
“The field of metamaterials is one of the few where a project can span theory, simulation and experimental demonstration while remaining within an individual’s ability to carry out,” Seetharam said. “On a personal level, I have always wanted to be an inventor across multiple fields. Modern improvements in digital technology have made scientific and technological development increasingly computational. Having the ability to develop computational techniques combined with a deep knowledge of physics will allow me the versatility necessary to work on a range of projects.”
Seetharam also intends to teach on the university level.