Mohammad Shahili has been selected to receive the prestigious Department of Defense (DoD) National Defense and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship. Awardees receive a competitive package lasting for three years that pays for their tuition and fees, as well as includes a monthly stipend, a travel budget to encourage the Fellow’s professional development, and a mentor, among other perks. The fellowship program was established in 1989 in order to inspire United States citizens to pursue training in “science and engineering disciplines of military importance.” The program was spearheaded by Congress and is sponsored by the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Air Force, with a goal of encouraging awardees to pursue doctoral degrees in specific disciplines.

Shahili, who is currently an M.S. candidate and will progress to his Ph.D. program this fall, plans to use the fellowship to fund his research in novel materials for Terahertz Quantum Cascade Lasers and to pursue his Ph.D. He said of his pursuit of a doctoral degree, “It has always been my aspiration to pursue a Ph.D. that extends the frontiers of knowledge and addresses longstanding problems, and this fellowship just got me a step closer to realizing that goal.” Shahili remembers being “curious about how different things function” since his childhood, and eventually gaining interest in electronics. He eventually decided to major in Electrical Engineering because it combines his favorite subjects, and would like to use that knowledge to “commercialize the high performing THz QCLs that I design.”