The WPI Presidential Fellowship launches the PhD career of highly talented students to WPI. Students selected are US citizens pursuing a PhD in STEM or business, and demonstrate leadership in their field. Five students have been selected in 2020-2021.
Esai Lopez is from southern New Mexico and received his Bachelor’s in chemical engineering from New Mexico State University (NMSU). He is a 2020 WPI presidential Fellow. At NMSU he worked on research that focused on environmental remediation. He has worked on removing uranium and radium from contaminated soils as well as the adsorption of pollutants on activated carbons. Aside from chemical engineering Esai enjoys community outreach events and engineering education.
Adriyel Nieves received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2015. After graduating, he worked as an electrical engineer leading the product development for commercial ventilation control systems. After working three years in industry, he pursued a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering graduating during the summer of 2020 where he researched implementation of modern radar techniques that can be used as a research tool within academia. Adriyel has completed internships focused on radar systems with Boeing Research and Technology in Huntington Beach, CA and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Maryland. He will join WPI as an Electrical and Computer Engineering Ph.D. student collaborating with Dr. Alexander Wyglinski in the Wireless Innovation Lab as a WPI Presidential Fellow and GEM Fellow. His research focus is cognitive radar systems and developing algorithms that improve probability of detection for distributed radar systems. With his Ph.D. research, he aspires to define the technology that will improve radar detection capabilities.
John Owens recently graduated from the University of Connecticut with his bachelors in science in Electrical Engineering. John is pursuing his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering as a WPI Presidential Fellow and GEM Fellow. John recently completed an internship at UTAS and conducted research in Electrical engineering while attending UConn.
Bryanna Samolyk will be joining the PhD program in Biomedical Engineering as a WPI Presidential Fellow this upcoming fall. Her research interests include biomaterials, tissue engineering, and regenerative medicine. She recently obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering as well as a minor in Material Science Engineering from the University of Connecticut. During her undergraduate career she conducted research in biomechanics, investigating micro-crack formation in femoral cartilage as well as the material properties of TMJ condylar cartilage. On top of her studies, Bryanna has gained industry experience through an internship at Zeptometrix Corporation.
As a Worcester native, Kiara Sanchez is particularly excited to be joining the Ph.D. program in Mathematical Sciences as a WPI Presidential Fellow in the Fall of 2020. She recently received her Master’s degree in Mathematics at Sam Houston State University. Her master’s thesis, Understanding the Stratospheric Polar Vortex: A Parameter Sensitivity Analysis on a Simple Model of Stratospheric Dynamics, focused on understanding what drives the dynamics (behavior) in the stratosphere the most. Her thesis research started as a part of the 2019 Math and Climate Research Network (MCRN) Summer School. Although most of her previous research is in Math and Climate, Kiara hopes to delve deeper into a newfound interest in financial mathematics while at WPI. Previously, in the spring of 2018, Kiara obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with a minor in Educational Studies from the College of the Holy Cross. Kiara is also a Doherty Memorial High School graduate.