Trent Ward, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) recently won two awards for academic excellence and research.
Ward, 23, of Hoboken, won first place for a research presentation at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) student conference, held at Boston University. During his presentation, Ward summarized the year-long research project he did with Edward Dreizen, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering at NJIT.
Ward’s research focused on developing an efficient metallic fuel that can be used for rocket propulsion, explosives and pyrotechnics. His research was highlighted earlier this year in a paper published in the proceedings of the Materials Research Society, Dreizen said. And a second paper, co-authored by Ward, has been accepted for presentation during the 30th Symposium on Combustion, planned for this summer in Chicago.
“Trent's progress in research has been extraordinary for an undergraduate student,” Dreizen said. “His interest, motivation, and strong engineering background make him an excellent researcher.”
During the AIAA conference, Ward competed against students from universities such as Boston University, Dartmouth, Princeton and MIT. Trent won $500 and a trip to Reno, Nevada, where he will present his paper before the AIAA’s national conference.
Separately, at NJIT Ward also won the Outstanding Senior Award in Mechanical Engineering from the Newark College of Engineering. The award is given annually by the mechanical engineering department to its top student. Upon presenting the award to Ward, Ian Fischer, Ph.D., associate chair of the mechanical engineering department, said, “Trent is one of our very best students, with a cumulative grade point average of 3.85. “Not only is he an outstanding scholar within the standard mechanical engineering curriculum, but he also a gifted researcher.”
Along with being a stellar student and researcher, Ward is well-rounded, having a strong interest in theatre, Fischer added. After three years studying drama, Ward has maintained ties to the theater by participating in all NJIT/Rutgers theatrical productions.
Ward’s activities at NJIT extend beyond the theater. He is vice president, facilitator and webmaster for the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society; as well as a member of Pi Tau Sigmam the mechanical engineering honor society. After graduating from NJIT in late May, Ward will pursue a master’s in mechanical engineering at NJIT