AEP students win NSF Graduate Research Fellowships for 2022

By: Diane Tessaglia-Hymes

Three AEP students—seniors Erin Fleck, Chloe Washabaugh, and recent graduate Nick Diaco—each won a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (NSF GRF) for 2022. The NSF GRF Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. The five-year fellowship includes three years of financial support including an annual stipend of $34,000 and a cost of education allowance of $12,000 to the institution.

Erin Fleck studies experimental condensed matter and material physics to understand why materials behave the way they do. She has been in Professor Lena Kourkoutis’ group since her freshman year doing electron microscopy. After graduation, she will pursue a Ph.D. in Applied Physics at Stanford University.

Chloe Washabaugh’s research focuses on quantum transduction. She has worked in professor Greg Fuchs’s group since her freshman year, translating quantum information stored in molecular qubits to its physical environment and vice versa. After graduation, she will pursue her Ph.D. at the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, University of Chicago. In addition to continuing with quantum transduction research, she hopes to establish herself as an advocate for the quantum information science community, by creating connections between physicists, the public, and policymakers.

Nick Diaco, a 2021 graduate of AEP, worked with professor Christopher Ober to synthesize polymer nanocomposites with unique electrical and mechanical properties. Nick is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at MIT, where he uses light to 3D-print polymer composites with applications in medicine and manufacturing. In the future, Nick plans to use his background in engineering physics and polymer science to develop new, more sustainable manufacturing technologies.

For more information about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, please visit:


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