Chemical and life science engineering student, Sean Godward, receives the Department of Defense’s prestigious Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarship

With the aid of the DoD’s SMART scholarship, Sean Godward is looking forward to creating positive change on both an individual and wide-reaching scale in chemical and life science engineering.

Sean Godward

World renowned physicist, chemist and first woman to receive a Nobel Prize, Dr. Marie Curie famously said, “One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.”

For chemical and life science engineering sophomore, Sean Godward, Curie’s words inspire him to stay humble in his success while searching for whatever challenges lie ahead.

Godward was recently awarded the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) scholarship from the Department of Defense (DoD). The program provides accepted students with full tuition, annual stipends, internships, and guaranteed employment with the DoD after graduation.

His passion for engineering has been propelled by getting to work on complex and meaningful projects, with his interest lying in materials science manufacturing and development and research into renewable energy resources. Most recently, he performed research alongside chemical and life science engineering professor and associate chair, James Ferri, Ph.D., to increase manufacturing efficiency and availability of the essential drug albuterol.

“In Chemical Engineering, we have the opportunity to make impacts directly on the consumer level in product research and development, and impacts on a much greater federal or corporate scale,” said Godward. “The idea of having a positive impact on both the nation and world as a whole seemed just too perfect to pass up.”

Godward is also a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), shaping his time at VCU with the opportunities and experience that has come along with it.

“Between the wealth of knowledge professors in the organization have to offer, the networking opportunities and social events I could not recommend the AIChE VCU student organization enough,” said Godward.

Thanks to the SMART scholarship, when Godward completes his undergraduate degree he will begin his employment at the National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC) in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“I wanted to thank the following professors for their help in my success in earning this scholarship. Leah Spangler, Ph.D., who broadened my horizon of what chemical engineering could be, and James Ferri, Ph.D., who graciously welcomed me into his research lab. These professors have greatly expanded my knowledge and understanding of what chemical engineering is and what it looks like in a lab setting.”

Outside of engineering, Godward spends his time reading, cooking and spending time with family and friends.