National Science Foundation Awards Manhattan College Grant to Fund Engineering Scholarships

College receives nearly $600,000 to fund education of future engineers.

Manhattan College was recently awarded nearly $600,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund engineering scholarships for college freshmen. The NSF grant will award 12 scholarships to academically qualified and financially needy students (six in 2015 and six in 2016) to pursue bachelor degree studies in civil and mechanical engineering.

“Besides providing scholarships to the students, it will diversify the student body of the School of Engineering,” said Zahra Shahbazi, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering and principal investigator on the project. “Students will engage in various co-curricular and extracurricular activities, which are intended to help each student reach his or her maximum potential.”

In addition, Anirban De, Ph.D., and Walter Saukin, Ph.D., are co-principal investigators on the project and also associate professors of civil and environmental engineering at Manhattan College.

Beginning in fall 2015, scholarship recipients will start college with an engineering support network within the residence halls in a living and learning community. The academic support opportunity consists of attending preparatory and annual workshops and mentorship. A few examples include involvement in the ACE (Architecture, Construction, and Engineering) Mentorship Program with benefits of professional mentorship from industry leaders, study abroad and undergraduate research.

Manhattan College will select scholarship recipients from its existing summer outreach programs. These programs specifically encourage female high school students and minority groups, many of who live in low-income neighborhoods and qualify for financial aid. One such program started in 1982 is the Summer Engineering Awareness program, which offers a free summer intensive course for high school students to receive a preview of the engineering and science disciplines.

This is the fourth NSF grant Manhattan College has received in the last year. In July 2014, the Schools of Engineering and Education also received a NSF grant to establish the Manhattan College Engineering Scholars Training and Retention (STAR) Center. The STAR Center will create of a variety of programs that support and promote engineering education for middle and high school teachers. The scholarship recipients can get involved in the STAR Center by minoring in engineering education or take part in the Engineering Ambassadors Club.

To read more about the grant, visit