ECE student among three 2022 Goldwater Scholars selected from Clemson

March 29, 2022

2022 Goldwater Scholarship recipient Grant Wilkins

Congratulations to Grant Wilkins, a junior Computer Engineering and Mathematical Sciences dual major, who has been awarded a prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship!

Grant planned to study mathematics and physics in college until an AP computer science class took him down a different path in eleventh grade.

The course had him look at challenges through a programming lens – and led him to computational quantum chemistry.

His research applies his mathematical and computer engineering knowledge to the country’s electrical grid, which often struggles in natural disasters associated with climate change. Improving the energy efficiency of lossy compression algorithms used on high-performance computing systems could create a more distributed and resilient grid, keeping the power on in weather-related crises.

Last summer, Wilkins worked as a software engineering intern at Tesla. He supported the development of a new system to dispatch tens of thousands of home batteries powered by solar energy to support the company’s grid during its peak load.

“I have always been interested in clean energy and combatting climate change, so working for a company in the energy sector was a major eye-opener for me,” said Wilkins. “My Tesla internship is one of the reasons why I started looking into smart grid technology.”

Wilkins shared his research in a poster presentation at Supercomputing 2020. His work was also recently accepted for publication at the third Workshop on Extreme-Scale Storage and Analysis (ESSA 2022).

Other 2022 Goldwater Scholars from Clemson University:
Jennifer Briglio
: a junior in Geology. Dr. Brady Flinchum (Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences) is her research mentor.

Arabella Hunter: a junior in Materials Science and Engineering. Dr. Thompson Mefford (Materials Science and Engineering) is her research mentor.

They are among the 417 new Goldwater Scholars selected from 1242 national nominees (in most cases each university may nominate only four students). With our three new Scholars, Clemson has now had 54 Goldwater selected since the program’s inception in 1989, and continues to lead the ACC with 38 Scholars since 2006.

You can read more about Clemson’s 2022 Goldwater Scholars on the ClemsonNews story.


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