Watt wins prestigious NDSEG fellowship

Posted: April 5, 2016

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The Ohio State University’s ElectroScience Lab announced Graduate Research Associate Stephen Watt is among the winners of the prestigious National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship.

A highly competitive program, the fellowship is awarded to U.S. citizens and nationals who intend to pursue a doctoral degree in one of any 15 supported science and engineering disciplines of military importance. On average, only 10 percent of all applicants receive the fellowship.

NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full college tuition, all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance (this excludes dental and vision insurance).

Watt will use the fellowship to fund the completion of his PhD at Ohio State. The award is based upon his submitted proposal, “Interference Immune and Self-Protected Medical Devices.”

“Biological data from implantable medical devices (IMDs) will be vital for future defense and healthcare applications,” Watt explains. “Despite their value added, these devices are susceptible to jamming, interference and unauthorized listeners. As a DOD NDSEG fellow, I plan to build on previous work at the ElectroScience Laboratory and research the use of textile antennas and wearable electronics to improve wireless security for IMDs.”

The Department of Defense (DoD) created the NDSEG fellowship 22 years ago as a way to help increase the number and quality of the nation's scientists and engineers. Since then, approximately 3,200 NDSEG fellowships have been awarded to deserving scholars. This year, DOD set aside the needed funds to issue 200 NDSEG new fellowships this April, all geared toward those students with plans to continue their education toward a doctoral degree in a number of science and engineering-related fields.

Winners are considered “individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering.”

The NDSEG Fellowship is sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), the Army Research Office (ARO), the High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCM), and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), under the direction of the Director of Defense Research and Engineering (DDR&E).

Watt received the BS degree in electrical engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA, in 2014. He is currently working toward his MS and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering at Ohio State under the advisement of Professor John Volakis. His research interests include wearable antennas, simultaneous transmit and receive (STAR) systems and implantable electronics.