Mechanical engineering professor named Fulbright Scholar, headed to UK

BYU professor Christopher Mattson has been named a Fulbright Scholar for 2014-2015.  The mechanical engineer will spend the next year in the United Kingdom at the world’s leading institute for design research.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government.  Mattson will study at the renowned interdisciplinary design school at Loughborough University in England. 

His research is aimed at advancing understanding in the area of design for the developing world.  He hopes to focus his efforts in development sustainability—meaning the long term, self-sustaining technical-social-political-economic development that allows those living in poverty to sustainably escape it.

"When we consider the enormous size of the population living in developing nations, and couple that with our goal to create poverty alleviating products for them, it becomes necessary to understand how those products impact our planet's sustainability," Mattson said.

"Spending a year at the UK's top interdisciplinary design school working with the leading researchers in sustainability is a tremendous opportunity for me," he said. "The blending of expertise from BYU and Loughborough will put us in a position to start answering some tough questions about how to engineer for emerging markets while maintaining the good of our planet."

The college and Mattson's department are looking forward to the scholarly work and partnerships that will result from this unique opportunity. 

"We are very pleased that Professor Mattson was selected as a Fulbright Scholar,” said Daniel Maynes, chair of the BYU Mechanical Engineering Department. “The selection process is extremely competitive and the award is based on his outstanding record as a scholar and teacher. We know that he will represent BYU very well while in England."

Fulbright alumni have become heads of state, judges, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, CEOs, university presidents, journalists, artists, professors and teachers.  They have been awarded 43 Nobel Prizes.  Since its inception more than 60 years ago, approximately 300,000 Fulbrighters have participated in the program. 

Mattson’s design research has been recognized with several other prestigious awards, including the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Award and the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest award the U.S. government offers to young researchers.    

After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU, Mattson received his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2003.  He joined the BYU Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology faculty in 2006. 

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