SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 6, 2019—Senior James Wang, an environmental science and electrical engineering major, has won a Fulbright Scholarship to research “hybrid-supercapacitors” —a new form of energy storage with potential benefits for renewable energy—in the Paris suburb of Cachan in France.
Originally from Foster City, Calif., Wang has spent his SCU years developing and exploring his passion for the environment, and honing his engineering talent towards sustainable endeavors. In the future, he hopes to combine the two to develop technologies to combat climate change and create sustainable and reliable energy, water, and food solutions for people in developing nations.
“This is an incredible opportunity to explore the societal implications of technology and make a difference,” said Wang. “I have so many professors and mentors to thank for helping me combine engineering and environmental science the way I envisioned. Environmental science gave me the fuel to continue pursuing engineering by providing context to different problems, and electrical engineering enables me to come up with technological solutions to help address them.”
Last summer through Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Global Social Benefit Fellowship program, he conducted action research in Zambia with VITALITE, a social enterprise that distributes solar-powered products to the poor. He has conducted research with the School of Engineering’s Latimer Energy Lab and mapped the effects of high-density traffic areas on residential health as part of the inaugural class of SCU Mapping Health Scholars.
He is chair of the student chapter of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and chair of the STEM Advisory Representative Committee. He is currently an intern at the Center for Sustainability and has also interned at Burns & McDonnell, an engineering, architecture, construction, environmental, and consulting solutions firm.
He is a tour guide for the School of Engineering, lead for the Solar Regatta project, and has served as a dorm counselor for the Summer Engineering Seminar which helps high school students unfamiliar with engineering learn more about it.
This past year, he won a scholarship from the PES Scholarship Plus Initiative from the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), a leading provider of information on power and energy for the betterment of humanity. Industry and academic representatives select scholarship recipients who are high achievers with great potential to make an impact across the power and energy industry.
He also was awarded an internship and educational scholarship from Silicon Valley Power (SVP), sponsored by the American Public Power Association’s Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Development program to assess and improve the efficiency of the distribution grid in Santa Clara.
He plans to obtain a master’s degree in electrical engineering while in France, and wants to pursue geoengineering or climate-change engineering in the future, with a goal of finding technology solutions to mitigate or possibly reverse the impact of climate change. As part of this initiative, he also is using his time as a Hackworth Grant recipient in the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics to explore the ethics of such work—questions like does employing geoengineering improperly encourage continued wasteful behavior, or might such efforts only help developed nations that can afford them?
Wang was one of 11 Fulbright semi-finalists in total. The remaining 10 will be notified in the coming weeks whether they have been chosen as Fulbright finalists, or winners, of the prestigious award.
About the Fulbright Program
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The program operates in more than 155 countries worldwide. For further information please visit eca.state.gov/fulbright.
About Santa Clara University
Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked the No. 1 regional university in the West by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see www.scu.edu.