Two Oregon State University College of Engineering students have received the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the top undergraduate scholarship for students in the natural sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Juniors Tucker Holstun and Yesh Godse are among 396 college students from across the United States to receive the award for the 2020-21 academic year.

The scholarships are awarded, based on academic merit, to college sophomores and juniors who exhibit intellectual intensity and exceptional promise of becoming research leaders and who show potential for significant contributions to research in their chosen fields.

Holstun and Godse will each receive $7,500 for tuition, fees, books and housing expenses. 

Holstun, a chemical engineering major and Honors College student from Portland, works as a research assistant in the lab of Zhenxing Feng, an assistant professor of chemical engineering, and is focused on developing surface coatings that increase the energy density of materials used to make lithium-ion batteries.

During an internship last summer at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, Holstun studied the theoretical aspects of battery technology and reviewed scientific literature in search of information about lithium-ion battery recycling techniques.

This summer, Holstun is slated for an internship at OnTo Technologies, a Bend, Oregon, battery recycling start-up.

Godse, a computer science major and Honors College student from the Portland metro area, concentrates on intelligent robotics — specifically using deep reinforcement learning (a subset of artificial intelligence) to control locomotion in humanoid robots.

As a research assistant in the Dynamic Robotics Laboratory, Godse works on Cassie, the high-profile, two-legged robotic platform developed in the lab. Godse plans to enter a robotics or computer science doctoral program after graduating in 2021.  

Oregon State has enjoyed a strong history of success with the Goldwater Scholarship, including in 2019 when all four of the university’s nominees were named as scholars. Thirty-six Oregon State students have earned the Goldwater Scholarship since the award was first conferred in 1989.

More than 1,300 natural science, engineering and mathematics students were nominated by 461 academic institutions to compete for the 2020 Goldwater scholarships.

Students interested in applying for the Goldwater Scholarship, or faculty who would like to encourage students to apply, can contact the Prestigious Scholarships office for information about the application and nomination process.