A doctoral student from the Cullen College of Engineering is the latest member of the Department of Defense's Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarship program, after a competitive application and evaluation process.
Shayne Sensenbach began his studies in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston in Fall 2020, after earning his B.S. from Oregon State. As part of being chosen for the SMART program, he will get the opportunity to complete two internships with the Department of Defense, and receive stipends for his tuition and research efforts. After graduation, Shayne will take a full-time position with his sponsoring DoD agency.
"The process has been so exciting and uplifting for me. I am beyond grateful for the SMART program for offering me their support, and I look forward to the future career opportunities with the DoD," he said.
Sensenbach is part of the Orman Lab, which is led by Mehmet A. Orman, Assistant Professor in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department. He is a listed author on two papers in Metabolites and Microorganisms.
Sensenbach attributed his academic success to several people in his life.
"First of all, almost every drop of my success can be attributed to the support from my family and my close friends. My parents have always supported me in every way they could. They have always believed in me and lovingly encouraged me in every aspect of my life," he said. "Dr. Orman was also very supportive of me during the scholarship application process. He helped me revise all of my applications to multiple fellowships and scholarships, and it's safe to say I would not have received an offer without his help. Additionally, I am very grateful for countless teachers and advisors through the years - many names and faces come to mind. Dr. Milo Koretsky at Oregon State (now at Tufts University) was especially kind and helpful to me throughout my undergraduate studies. I am very fortunate to have so many great people in my life."
Sensenbach's projected graduation date is currently the 2025 academic year.
"I'm sure my future work with the DoD will provide a lot of learning opportunities and exposure to various fields," he said. "I hope to eventually focus my career on therapies for cancer and other diseases, but I will welcome any opportunities that may present themselves."