Graduate Blog

To submit an item for the graduate blog, email Joan Christian.

July 6, 2018

The Graduate College invites nominations for the 2019-2020 Schmidt Science Fellows Program.  Now in its second year, the Schmidt Science Fellows Program offers an innovative 11-month postdoctoral experience for students from the natural sciences, engineering, mathematics, and computing-oriented disciplines.  Targeting students who are near completion of their PhDs, the program offers training in fields outside of the student’s current area of expertise and allows students to engage with world renowned leaders in science, technology, business, and government.

The program is offered by the Schmidt Family Foundation, founded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and his wife Wendy Schmidt, in partnership with the Rhodes Trust.  As the Schmidt website explains, the program “aims to create a new generation of scientific leaders. Our goal is to give the world’s best aspiring scientific minds a broader perspective, the ability to engage in an interdisciplinary way, and the opportunity to make a lasting impact in society.”  To that end, the program seeks individuals “with a special degree of brilliance and inventiveness,” specifically those who demonstrate scientific curiosity, extraordinary achievement, intellectual spark, global ambitions, character, collaborative spirit, and use of innovative tools.  

Only students who expect to complete their PhDs by June 30, 2019 (but no earlier than May 1, 2018) are eligible.  The fellowship offers a $100,000 stipend, and it provides research experiences at some of the world’s leading academic institutions.  

The Schmidt Family Foundation has invited only select universities to participate in the fellowship program, and the University of Illinois is one of those universities.  We are allowed to submit seven representatives for consideration in the national competition, and the Graduate College will coordinate the competition to select those seven.  The campus competition will operate via departmental nomination, and eligible departments may submit up to two nominations each.  The deadline for nominations is August 16, 2018, and you may find details on the nomination process in the Schmidt listing in our Fellowship Finder database.  

July 5, 2018

Ph.D. Final Defense – Ahmad Al-Naseem
A Variational Framework for Multi-scale Defect Modeling in Strained Electronics and Processing of Composite Materials
Advisor: Professor Arif Masud
Date: Monday: July 11th, 2:00 pm
Location: Grainger Library Room 329


July 3, 2018

Seminar: New Education and Research in the ZJU-UIUC Institute in China and Tenure Track Faculty Recruitment

July 6, 3:00pm – 4:30 pm

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1000 Micro and Nanotechnology Lab (MNTL)

208 North Wright Street, Urbana



July 2, 2018

The PCI Research and Development Council, in collaboration with the PCI Transportation Activities Council, is pleased to announce that proposals will now be accepted for the 2018 Dennis R. Mertz Bridge Research Fellowship. This $35,000 research fellowship was established in memory of Dr. Mertz and his significant contributions to the transportation sector of the precast concrete industry.

Applications are due August 20, 2018 and should focus on precast/prestressed concrete bridges and transportation products. An award will be announced by the end of October and funds will be distributed after December 1, 2018.

To view the solicitation see the Research and Development page at or click on the following link:

Please direct questions to Roger Becker at

June 26, 2018

PhD Final Defense – Alexander Pagnotta
Probabilistic Impact-Echo Method for Nondestructive Detection of Defects around Steel Reinforcing Bars in Reinforced Concrete
Advisor: Professor Paolo Gardoni
Date: Monday July 9th, 2:00 PM
Location: Newmark – Quade Conference Room