Epstein Wins L-3 Scholarship

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MSE senior Eric Epstein (right) working on EWB's bioretention facility implementation on campus during winter break 2010.

Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) senior Eric Epstein has been awarded a 2010-2011 L-3 Undergraduate Scholarship. Clark School Corporate Partner L-3 Communications Corporation created the merit-based scholarships, funded by a $1 million gift through the University of Maryland's Great Expectations campaign, to support students majoring in materials science and engineering, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical engineering, and aerospace engineering.

Epstein, who minors in nanotechnology, is a member of MSE professor John Cumings' research group, where he has worked on the fabrication of lithium-ion battery electrodes using silicon nanowires, a project he began last summer while participating in the University of Maryland's Materials Research Science and Engineering Center's Research Experiences for Undergraduate program. Epstein was responsible for analyzing the performance of the nanowires using transmission and scanning electron microscopy, as well as characterizing any structural changes they had undergone after testing. He is currently investigating their mechanical properties.

Epstein is a self-described "avid member" of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). EWB sends teams of volunteers to developing countries around the world to complete projects that enable people to obtain safe drinking water, better sanitation, reliable electricity, education, and more. Epstein is part of a team that has designed a water pump, storage, and filtration system for a medical center in Burkina Faso, Africa, slated for installation in 2011. EWB members also help with projects in their own countries and communities. During winter break in 2010, Epstein collaborated with several students from the University of Maryland EWB chapter to build a bioretention facility near a large campus parking lot, which currently filters water runoff from over 2.5 acres of impervious land coverage on campus.

This summer, he will intern at the Naval Research Lab. After completing his bachelor's degree, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering.

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Published February 21, 2011