The Cullen College of Engineering has another member of the Department of Defense's Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarship program in its ranks, as Systems Engineering student Jordyn Sibert has been picked for the 2023 cohort.
“I am beyond excited to announce that I am one of the scholars to receive the SMART Scholarship for the 2023 cohort,” she wrote in a LinkedIn post about the honor. “It is an absolute dream to have the opportunity to work with the Missile Defense Agency, and I would like to take the time to thank my mentors Nathanial Wiggins and Houston Green for their guidance over the past couple of years. I'm excited for what the future will bring, and know the best is yet to come.”
The scholarship will cover Sibert's tuition for the rest of her undergraduate degree pursuit, while also providing a stipend and a health allowance. Beyond financial support, the scholarship will also provide Sibert an opportunity to work directly in a government-affiliated, STEM-related field, via an internship in Summer 2024. Shayne Sensenbach, a doctoral student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Department, also earned the honor earlier this year.
“Winning the SMART Award means that the Missile Defense Agency [MDA] in Colorado Springs has recruited me as a Systems Engineer to train and work with them on performance of their systems, simulation testing and much more, including hyper-sonic testing and real world launch applications,” Sibert said. “This is beyond life changing for my family and I.”
After successfully completing her degree and the internship program, Sibert will work full-time as a systems engineer at the MDA. She's excited for the opportunity to use her skills there, and to work on the computer and network systems for target detection sensors, ground and sea-based missiles, and other important defense mechanisms.
“On a personal level, I am interested in researching more streamlined and energy-efficient methods to implement into these complex systems,” she said. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to have a hand in keeping our country safe as a civilian with the MDA, since this is their top priority.”
Before enrolling at UH, Sibert earned her Associate of Science in Engineering degree at San Jacinto College. She's stayed active as a student – She volunteered at the Engineers in Real Life event for all students at Clear Lake High School in February and for FIRST Robotics Competitions as a judge in 2022, completed an internship with Rice University's Office of STEM Engagement in Summer 2022, and spent Fall 2021 to Spring 2022 working with Team Hyperion on their design for a Novel Non-Tracking Fiber Optic Solar Concentrator for the Texas Space Grant Design Consortium. Her team earned second place for their efforts.
Sibert stressed the importance of her family as well as her academic mentors in her success. Wiggins is a Senior Lecturer in Cullen's Industrial Engineering Department. Green is a designer and builder of NASA Human Rated Robotics Systems for Jacobs Engineering.
“They've both guided me along this path to success, and I look forward to having the opportunity to help others as they have helped me,” she said.
Story written by Stephen Greenwell, with interviewing by Rashda Khan.