Illinois News Bureau, April 18, 2023
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — University of Illinois students Daniel Cudzich, Max Fan and Aidan Lindsay were awarded Barry M. Goldwater scholarships for their potential to contribute to the advancement of research in the natural sciences, mathematics or engineering.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986 to honor Goldwater, who served 30 years in the U.S. Senate. The program encourages the continued development of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to sophomores and juniors from the U.S. who intend to pursue doctorates. The scholarship provides recipients $7,500 annually towards undergraduate tuition, fees, books or room and board.
This year’s 413 scholars were selected from among an estimated pool of over 5,000 college sophomores and juniors from across the country who sought to become among the 1,267 students nominated by faculties of colleges and universities nationwide for the award, according to David Schug, director of the National and International Scholarships Program at Illinois.
“With so many amazing STEM students and research opportunities at Illinois, just being nominated by the campus for the Goldwater is quite a feat, as is evidenced by three of our four nominees earning the national award,” Schug said.
Cudzich, a junior from Niles, Illinois, and a graduate of Niles West High School, is pursuing a degree in materials science and engineering. Cudzich has compiled a 4.0 GPA as a member of both the college James Scholar Honors Program and the Campus Honors Program. He began researching novel battery types in high school. For the past three years, he has been working in the lab of Illinois materials science and engineering professor Paul Braun, under the mentorship of doctoral candidate Carlos Juarez-Yescas, developing solid-state electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries. Cudzich also participated in research experiences with Argonne National Laboratory, Panasonic and Apple Inc. At Illinois, he is active with THRUST, a student group striving to build a rocket that can reach the Karman line (100 km in altitude) with a liquid-fueled engine. Cudzich said he aspires to work at a national laboratory using electrochemical design to improve solid-state battery technologies.
Photo by Della Perrone/University of Illinois