Physics sophomore wins Department of Defense scholarship

Author: Marissa Gebhard

Kristina Sault

University of Notre Dame sophomore Kristina Sault has won a U.S. Department of Defense scholarship that will pay full tuition, fees, books and a stipend for the next two years of her undergraduate education. Sault is a physics major from Hawaii.

The Science, Mathematics And Research for Transformation (SMART) Defense Scholarship for Service Program aims to increase the number of civilian scientists and engineers who work at Department of Defense laboratories. Participants are assigned to paid summer internships in laboratories and agree to work for the department after graduation – one year for each year they receive the scholarship, with the possibility of longer-term careers.

Last summer, Sault participated in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) at Notre Dame and went to study in Japan with Prof. Umesh Garg. After the experience, she wrote a paper, “The Giant Monopole Resonance and Nuclear Incompressibility.” The work in nuclear astrophysics, attempting to measure compressibility, has implications for understanding the fate of collapsing stars.

This summer, Sault will return to Japan for three weeks of study and participate in an REU at Purdue University before going on her at the Hyrodynamic Maneuvering and Controls Division of the Nuclear Surface Warfare Center Carderock Division in Maryland. She will run and develop a mathematical simulation of ship and submarine maneuvering and control performance. Sault will attend Oxford University for her junior year.

The SMART program selects top undergraduate and graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, known as STEM disciplines, who can help advance the nation’s security. Stipends range from $22,000 to $39,000. The program involved 170 students in its first three years and expects to add about 200 this year.