Professor to Launch New Engineering Scholarship Program
The National Science Foundation officials awarded a UA professor with $600,000 to launch a new engineering scholarship program.
Professor Manuel Rossetti received a grant in August of this year to begin the Student Integrated Internship Research Experience program, or SIIRE.
The mission of this program is to increase the number of science technology and engineering students that graduate from the university, said Manuel Rossetti, industrial engineering department head.
“We want to integrate internship experience with students’ academic experience on campus,” Rossetti said.
This program will offer students financial aid, personal industry, academic mentoring, research experience and hopefully hands on job or intern experience, Rossetti said.
Through SIIRE, students may apply for scholarships, as well as receive training and guidance to help prepare them to find a job in the engineering field, Rossetti said.
Theoretically, students would enter this scholarship program as sophomores — as long as their grades remain consistent — continue with the program until graduation, Rossetti said.
At the end of their junior year, participants will enter phase two of the program, where scholarship funds increase and students begin to work on finding research topics. SIIRE aims to help students develop research topics that could potentially serve as graduate thesis.
The state of Arkansas is one of the last states in terms of graduates in the fields of architecture and engineering. Sending more students into the state’s engineering workforce is one of the biggest motivations for why the government would want to support a grant for this program, Rossetti said.
“I think the engineering department at Arkansas will definitely benefit from the SIIRE program,” said Scottie Finch, junior computer engineering major.
The university already has a great engineering department and this could help serve as even more incentive for people to look at applying to Arkansas for school, Finch said.
“I think the country in general needs more engineers,” said Keith Ericksen, junior electrical engineering major.
Scholarships play a huge role in the decisions students make about college and their careers. Students should definitely take advantage of an opportunity like this, Ericksen said.
“I wish we had this program when I was a sophomore,” said Eric Torres, junior mechanical engineering major.