UVU Receives $1.7 Million Grant for Engineering Research

UVU Receives $1.7 Million Grant for Engineering Research

A group of five Utah Valley University engineering professors have received a $1.7 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide scholarships for students studying civil and mechanical engineering.

Professors Sean Tolman, Matthew Jensen, Ben Willardson, Amanda Bordelon, and Israd Jaafar received the grant, which is called the Civil and Mechanical (CAM) Engineering Scholarship Program.

“The vast majority of the funds provide student scholarships and support increased faculty mentoring,” said Daniel Fairbanks, UVU biology professor and university research officer. “UVU has been highly successful in receiving these S-STEM (scholarships in science, technology, engineering, and math) grants from NSF because our student-centered mission of engaged learning aligns so well with the goals of this NSF program.”

This grant will fund approximately 140 full-tuition student scholarships over the next six years. It will also support faculty who oversee additional mentoring by student peers and engineering experts from local businesses.

In addition, the program will fund tutoring resources for students to help them succeed in the foundational math and physics courses that are often a hurdle for aspiring engineers.

“This grant-funded program will be a big benefit to students who want to become engineers but who, without this assistance, may not be able to realize that dream,” said Sean Tolman, associate professor of engineering.

Tolman also said the scholarship recipients will be organized into cohorts so they can get to know each other, not only by attending class and working on projects but also by participating in extracurricular activities. “We believe it is important to create a sense of community for these students. That social connection provides a powerful support system for them,” Tolman said.

This is the latest in a series of NSF grants UVU has received in recent years. Other grants have been awarded to UVU’s biology, physical science, and computer science programs. With this grant, UVU is currently overseeing more than $9 million in NSF funding.