Jose Luiz Vargas de Mendonca is the recipient of the U-M STEM Research Career Award this year. STEM RCA supports highly qualified sophomores and juniors who plan to pursue a PhD or MD/PhD and research career in a STEM field.
This scholarship provides an opportunity for international students at U-M who are not eligible for nomination to national scholarships such as Goldwater that require US citizenship or permanent residency. The exceptional academic and research application from Jose, a native of Brazil, made him a standout for this notable award.
Jose is curious about how to design components that can work in extreme environments. He says, “In aerospace engineering, we need to consider extremely high and extremely low-temperature ranges, radiation effects, and supersonic regimes. After my first year at the University of Michigan, I also found a passion for how computers can help to solve challenging problems and contribute to humanity, for this reason, I declared a second major in CE.”
Given the scholarship and recognition for his first two years at U-M, Jose comments, “It is rewarding to see that the U-M recognized the dedication I put into research over the past year. I am planning to apply for Ph.D. programs after graduation, so this award also motivates me to pursue this goal and keep developing good academics during my undergraduate studies. As an international student, this is a special opportunity since it is one of the few scholarships for which we are eligible. I am thankful to the amazing professors at U-M and the rigorous course plan that contributed to earning this award.”
Last summer Jose had an internship at Amazon Web Services. This summer, he will be working with MASA to evaluate our rocket engine and validate the avionics system for the Ground Support Equipment Trailer after the semester ends. Starting in June, he has an internship as a software engineer intern on the Cloud Security team at Microsoft.