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Cadet Receives Fulbright Award to study energy engineering

April 13, 2018

1/c Erin Wright NEW LONDON, CONN. – Cadet First Class Erin Wright, a student at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, has been awarded a 2018-2019 Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master of Philosophy degree in Energy Engineering at Newcastle University, Newcastle, U.K. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers research, study and teaching opportunities in over 140 countries to graduate students. The program aims to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.

Cadet Wright is scheduled to graduate from the Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering on May 23. As a junior, Wright worked on a Hybrid Performance project supervised by the U.S. Department of Energy and analyzed how a fuel cell and a gas turbine operating in a symbiotic relationship can increase the energy efficiency of a power generation system. In the summer of 2017, she contributed to research in the Brayton Cycle Laboratory at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she helped model a system that converts solar power to electrical energy using a Supercritical CO2 Brayton Cycle. Her senior project at the Academy is on reverse osmosis desalination and provides a base knowledge of instrumentation controls and mechanical system design.

Cadet Wright’s Fulbright research project will be on the biofuel combustion process in diesel engines. She plans to explore the effects of nanoparticle additives to biodiesel as a method for decreasing emission levels and increasing engine efficiency. Wright will be conducting her research at the Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research at Newcastle University. As an Ambassador of the Fulbright Program, she also plans to establish a research partnership between the Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research at Newcastle University and the USCG Research and Development Center’s Science and Technology Division.

Wright, from Alpena, Michigan, said her Fulbright scholarship travels will be her first visit to Europe. She plans to explore the culture, history, and architecture throughout the U.K. Upon her return, Wright hopes to work as a Prevention Officer with the U.S. Coast Guard and be responsible for maritime security and enforcement of environmental regulations on vessels operating in U.S. waters.

Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth