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Georgia Southern University

Engineering Technology Major Earns Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship

11-08  Kory SandvenGeorgia Southern University senior Kory Sandven was selected to study renewable energy at the graduate level while abroad on a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. A senior majoring in electrical engineering technology, he is the second College of Science and Technology student in two years to earn the prestigious designation.

The $26,000 award will fully fund his studies at Newcastle University in Newcastle, England next year. Sandven said graduate school is the next step in his long-term plan to join the front-runners developing innovative technologies for renewable energy.

“I want to change the direction of the world’s pollutant energy dependence by creating cheaper, more efficient ways to make healthier power production through the field of sustainable energy,” said the Savannah native. “Newcastle University is top-ranked in innovative engineering because the University uses research as the base for its renewable energy program allowing students to learn through hands-on experience with generation as well as latest design development.”

Pursuing research in renewable energy has been Sandven’s passion for a long time, and fortunately, he has already had many opportunities at Georgia Southern to work with faculty members — such as Youakim Al-Kalaani and Mosfequr Rahman — who are conducting research in this emerging field.

For his senior capstone project, the young environmentalist created a miniature Radial Dual Rotor Permanent Magnet Alternator that, he said, had 320 percent more efficiency than the miniature standard single rotor generator. Its sister generator produced five volts with an additional fifty dollars (a quarter of the total expense more); however, Sandven’s creation produced 15 volts, tripling the voltage output of the generator.

Nancy Shumaker, assistant vice president of International Studies, said the award is a reflection of Sandven’s hard work and preparation, and will be ideal for his future career pursuits.

“When you talk about renewable energy, you have to talk about it in global terms,” said Shumaker, who is also a member of the Downtown Statesboro Rotary Club. “He is a very thoughtful and practical person, and he knew that stepping outside the U.S. to see what other countries are doing in this field would give him an edge in his future research and career.”

For over 60 years, the Ambassadorial Scholarship has sponsored overseas studies by more than 40,000 men and women. The award provides funding for one year of study at an institution in another country, and the foundation chooses the destination institution to ensure a broad distribution of its ambassadors across the countries where Rotary International has a presence.

As an ambassadorial scholar, Sandven must also support Rotary International’s focus on volunteerism and community service. He plans to educate children in local secondary schools about general energy consumption, conducting energy audits in their own homes, and practices that save money and increase energy efficiency.

In preparing his application, Sandven also sought advisement from the University Honors Program which provides support to all students pursuing national and international competitive scholarships like the Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship.

“Having two students earn Rotary scholarships in consecutive years is great recognition for Georgia Southern’s commitment to undergraduate research and service projects,” said Steven Engel, director of the University Honors Program.

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