21:59 PM


Swanson School Sophomore Receives DoD SMART Scholarship

Anna Strauss grew up fascinated by the work at the nearby Naval Air Warfare Center at Patuxent River, Md.

“Part of my drive to go into engineering was to one day contribute to the work I observed there,” said Strauss, a sophomore Engineering Physics student at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering. “It is important to me that my work has a positive impact on my community and country.”

Through a Department of Defense (DoD) SMART Scholarship, Strauss will soon get the opportunity to pursue her dream.

The SMART Scholarship, which stands for Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation, is a Scholarship-for-Service program that provides students pursuing STEM degrees with a scholarship in return for work as a civilian employee with the DoD. SMART recipients also are paired with a mentor and complete summer internships that will prepare them for full-time employment with the DoD after graduation.

“I hope that this path will allow me to work in a wide variety of things, opposed to focusing on one specific task, as I really enjoy the collaborative process,” said Strauss. “With that being said I have been gravitating towards electromagnetic interferences, and signal processing, which I will hopefully have the opportunity to work on over this internship.”

Strauss is part of the Engineering Science Program at the Swanson School, which is affiliated with the University Honors College. The Program provides students with a personally optimized scientific and engineering training experience, allowing them to reach beyond and across traditional disciplines and boundaries.

Strauss’s Engineering Physics degree marries her passion for physics with her desire to work in an engineering field. She is currently working in the Talaat lab, where she is researching the laser heating of amorphous and nanocrystalline alloys.

In the summer of 2022, Strauss will complete her first DoD internship at Dahlgren Navy Base in Virginia, where she will be testing and simulating waveforms, developing algorithms and using the engineering computing platform MATLAB to design some of naval ship combat systems.

“I think my degree, engineering physics, being so interdisciplinary in its nature has put me in a really good place for this type of work,” said Strauss. “In taking such a diverse course load to this point, I feel very prepared to problem solve and adapt in any situation that may arise.”