Jessica Crawford" />
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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Engineering grant to help graduate students

To help graduate students with financial need achieve the highest degree of education in their fields, the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program, created by the U.S. Department of Education, awarded $498,132 to UH Cullen College of Engineering.

The program is specifically aimed at helping doctoral candidates working on projects related to infrastructure and clean water. The grant will serve as a fellowship, dispersed to fellowship students through a three-year period.

Keh-Han Wang, director of the graduate program at the UH Department of Civil Engineering, explained how candidates will be selected for the fellowship.

“We are going to recruit five to six Ph.D. students,” Wang said. “In order to be qualified for the fellowship, (students) need to have U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status. They will receive a monthly stipend. The amount of the monthly stipend depends on their needs.”

Abdeldjelil Belarbi, chair of the UH Department of Civil Engineering, said the broad nature of infrastructure and clean water will allow students to conduct diverse bodies of research.

“Infrastructure is a very wide subject; anything that you can see around you — monitoring of structures, earthquake resistant structures and wind resistant structures,” Balarbi said.

To Wang, the grant serves as more than just assistance to current students.

“Its purpose is to educate U.S. students so that they can not only get knowledge but teach as well,” Wang said.

Belarbi agreed with Wang on the value of the award for students.

“This grant will help us reach out to students, people who have the financial need and people who have the desire to become professors or faculty at some point,” Balarbi said.

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