College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Two Cyclone Engineers receive Goldwater Scholarships, nation’s premier undergrad scholarship in STEM

Atte Kadoma
Nikita Kozak

Two Cyclone Engineers have received 2019 Goldwater Scholarships, the nation’s premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.

Atte Kadoma, a junior in materials engineering from Cottage Grove, Minnesota.

Nikita Kozak, a junior in mechanical engineering from Waukee, Iowa.

Goldwater Scholarships are awarded by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation to encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in STEM research. A total of 496 Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,223 applicants nationwide.

This year, Iowa State is one of only 20 institutions — including Yale, Stanford, Duke and Ohio State — to have all four nominees selected as scholars.

The one-year scholarships are available to juniors and the two-year scholarships are available to sophomores. They cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Hands-on research experience

Kadoma’s undergraduate research mentors are Martin Thuo, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Iowa State; Chuanshen Du, graduate student in materials science and engineering at Iowa State; Zhenan Bao, department chair and K.K. Lee Professor of Chemical Engineering at Stanford University; Jinxing Li, postdoctoral research fellow in chemical engineering at Stanford University; and Jiahao Chen, postdoctoral research fellow in materials engineering at Northwestern University.

After graduating from Iowa State, Kadoma will pursue a Ph.D. in materials engineering. She will combine her passions for science and helping people by developing wearable health monitoring technologies, as well as mentoring students in scientific research at the university level.

Kozak’s undergraduate mentors are Ming-Chen Hsu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Anindya Ghoshal, Muthuvel Murugan and Luis Bravo, research engineers at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Vehicle Technology Directorate.

After graduating from Iowa State, Kozak will pursue a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. He plans to establish his own multidisciplinary research group focused on engine design and computational modeling approaches at a national laboratory.

Research, scholarship opportunities

Any Iowa State student interested in applying for the Goldwater Scholarship should contact Laura Good, assistant director for nationally competitive awards and university honors, at

To learn more about undergraduate research opportunities, contact Svitlana Zbarskaundergraduate research coordinator, at