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Student Receives Prestigious Fellowship

Three BYU Mechanical Engineering students have been awarded the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship. Among the awardees was Greg Teichert, a member of the BioMEMs research group. He received the prestigious awards after a rigorous selection process, and will benefit from a three-year annual stipend, a generous cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, and an international travel allowance, as well as the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited institution of graduate education he chooses.

Greg Teichert, originally from Rock Springs, Wyoming, graduated from BYU with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in December 2010 and started working on a Master’s degree in January 2011. He has been working with professors Brian Jensen and Larry Howell in the microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) research group. He has worked on designing a MEMS device for holding mouse egg cells during DNA injection, and he is currently working on microneedle arrays for the injection of genes into somatic cells.

Teichert plans to finish his MS at BYU, working on the microneedle injection system. He then hopes to get a PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a focus in Biomedical Engineering. “I am extremely grateful to have received this fellowship,” Teichert said. “I am also grateful to Dr. Jensen and Dr. Howell for the research opportunities and guidance they have given me. I’m excited for the opportunities that the fellowship will open up.”

“Greg is one of the most creative and capable students I’ve ever worked with,” said Dr. Brian Jensen. “Last summer, he was working on ways to restrain biological cells during experiments, and he developed one of the most creative approaches to the problem that I've ever seen. His work on that project is now being reviewed for publication in the ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics.”

Jensen commented further, “Greg’s hard work, intelligence, and creativity make him ideal for an NSF Fellowship. He is very deserving of this award. I’m overjoyed for him, and honored that I have been able to work with him.”

Eleven BYU students were awarded NSF Fellowships for 2011. Of the eleven, five are from the Fulton College of Engineering and Technology.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in the United States and abroad. As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching.

Since 1952, NSF has funded 46, 500 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants. Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected, and more than 440 have become members of the National Academy of Sciences. More than twenty of them have gone on to become Nobel laureates.

The fellowship is competitive, and those planning to apply should devote a sincere effort to their applications. The 2012 GRFP application is expected to become available in August 2011. Visit for more information.