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The Eighth WPI Student to Receive the Prestigious Award Since 2002

WORCESTER, Mass., April 12, 2006 - Sanjayan "Sunny" Manivannan, a junior at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) majoring in both mechanical engineering and mathematics, has been named a 2006-07 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. This is the sixth straight year that at least one WPI student has won the prestigious scholarship.

Manivannan joins current students Molly L. Conforte '06 and Helen A. Hanson '06 as Goldwater Scholars. In all, eight WPI undergraduates have been named Goldwater Scholars since 2002. The one-year undergraduate scholarship covers the cost of tuition, fees, books, room, and board up to a maximum of $7,500.

Manivannan, from North Smithfield, RI., received one of 323 scholarships awarded this year to U.S. sophomores and juniors by the Goldwater Foundation. After graduation from WPI, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computational fluid dynamics.

During his years at WPI, Manivannan has been involved in a number of activities. He is currently president of the Student Government Association and a member of the Campus Hearing Board. He offers regular math help sessions as a Peer Learning Assistant and is a residential advisor and a campus tour guide

He is a member of three honor societies, Tau Beta Pi (engineering), Pi Tau Sigma (mechanical engineering), and Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics). To augment his classroom studies, he completed a technical engineering internship with the Heat Transfer and Fluid Systems division of GE Aircraft Engines.

He is currently completing his Major Project in mathematics. Advised by Suzanne Weekes, associate professor of mathematical sciences, Manivannan is modeling the torque required to insert self-tapping screws, a project sponsored by BOSE Corporation. Working with partners Angela Leo '06 and John Potter '06, he has researched previous mathematical models and made improvements to them.

The 2006-07 Goldwater Scholars-182 men and 141 women-were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,081 mathematics, science, and engineering students nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. Virtually all intend to go on to obtain a Ph.D.

Of the 323 scholars, 234 are science majors, 47 are engineering majors, 32 are mathematics majors, and 10 are majoring in computer science-related fields. Many, like Manivannan, have dual majors in a variety of mathematics, science, engineering, and computer disciplines.

About the Goldwater Scholarship

The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Program, established in 1986 to honor Senator Barry Goldwater, is designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields. In its 18-year history, the foundation has awarded 4,885 scholarships worth approximately $48 million.

About WPI

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI was one of the first engineering and technology universities in the nation. WPI's 18 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to the BS, MS, ME, MBA and PhD. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, nanotechnology, and information security. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through our innovative Global Perspectives program. There are over 20 WPI project centers throughout North America and Central America, Africa, Australia, Asia, and Europe.