University of Delaware Ph.D. candidates Hannah Sinigaglio and Eric Herrmann were each awarded a graduate fellowship from the Koerner Family Foundation, an organization dedicated to training and retaining U.S. engineers. Singaglio and Herrmann are the third and fourth College of Engineering students to receive this fellowship.

Sinigaglio graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor of science in photonic science and engineering. She then earned her master’s in electrical engineering at UD in 2022. Currently, she is working towards her doctorate in electrical and computer engineering.

Working under the supervision of Engineering Alumni Professor Dennis Prather, Sinigaglio researches microwave photonic systems. By using photonic devices like lasers and optical fibers in combination with high frequency electronics like antennas, her goal is to create a system that could be applied to communication or sensing related tasks. Sinigaglio’s research has potential applications in sixth generation (6G) wireless technologies and communication services.

“I am honored to receive this award and represent the electrical and computer engineering department at UD. This award affirms my commitment to learning and research. I want to thank the Koerner Family Foundation and everyone who supports me here at UD,” said Sinigaglio.

Herrmann earned a bachelor of science in physics from West Chester University. His undergraduate studies inspired him to learn more about the unknown through pursuing a Ph.D. in materials science at UD.

Herrmann’s doctoral research, supervised by Assistant Professor Xi Wang, is focused on investigating the effects of local strain on the electronic and optical properties of two-dimensional materials, such as hexagonal boron nitride, by engineering strain with nanoscale precision. The goal of this project is to further understand nanophotonics concepts for applications such as quantum computing and information sciences.

“We are in the midst of another technological revolution, and the University of Delaware is leading the way. I am incredibly proud and grateful to be a part of this institution, and to an even greater extent grateful for the recognition brought to myself and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering by the Koerner Family Foundation,” said Herrmann.

About the award

The Koerner Family Foundation graduate fellowships enable students to complete their doctoral degrees in engineering research so that these scholars may go on to use their education to create innovative solutions to some of the nation’s most difficult problems. Fellowship recipients  must be United States citizens, have passed their candidacy exams for their doctoral degree and express an interest in a research career.

Article by Jessica Gardner