Mazda Awards Scholarships to Two Doctoral Students

June 3, 2015  ̶  Two Samueli School of Engineering graduate students are recipients of $10,000 Mazda Foundation (USA), Inc. scholarships. Doctoral candidates Jason Panzarino (mechanical and aerospace engineering) and Rachel Gurlin (biomedical engineering) received the scholarships, which will help support them as they complete their degrees.

Panzarino and Gurlin, who were nominated by their advisers, were selected from the engineering school’s top graduate students.

Panzarino, a 2012 aerospace engineering graduate of the University of Florida, is a licensed private pilot who studies nanostructured metals nearly 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. He seeks to understand the novel ways in which these materials deform at the atomic scale so their mechanical properties can be tailored to achieve superior strength, fatigue resistance and fracture toughness for use in aerospace, defense and automobiles.

His adviser, Timothy Rupert, calls him professional, hard-working and passionate, and said in the nomination that Panzarino “has a bright scientific career ahead of him.”

Gurlin, who graduated from UC Davis in 2014 with a biomedical engineering degree, is developing a bioartificial pancreas device to help combat Type 1 diabetes. The device, comprised of functional islets  ̶   pancreatic cells that sense glucose and produce insulin  ̶  will replace cells destroyed by the autoimmune disease.

Gurlin’s adviser is Elliot Botvinick, who says she is highly motivated and passionate, and wrote in her nomination: “Her project is ambitious and indicative of Rachel’s fearless dedication to engineering cures.”

Two UCI MBA candidates also were recipients of this year’s Mazda Foundation scholarships.

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