International fellowship provides WSU Tri-Cities students opportunity to study and research in Sweden

By Lacey Desserault

A fellowship program is providing opportunities for computational engineering, math, and science students from across the Washington State University system to study and research in Sweden over a three-year span. Two students from WSU Tri-Cities were selected as part of this year’s cohort and will depart at the beginning of the fall 2024 semester.  

The STARS.Se Program, or Student Training and Research Semester in Sweden, was formed out of a partnership between WSU and the US National Science Foundation’s International Research Experiences for Students initiative (IRES). The program allows students to become globally educated for international leadership in applied engineering and science computing. Selected students take classes and participate in research with advanced equipment at Linköping University (LiU) in Linköping, Sweden for one semester. The current research supports the international development of Boeing’s and Saab’s new T-7A Red Hawk training aircraft, designed as an advanced pilot training system for the US Air Force. 

 WSU Tri-Cities students Christian Penick and Scarlett Reagan will join five students from other WSU campuses to study in Sweden this fall. 

Christian Penick

Christian Penick

“I decided to apply for the program because I knew it would strengthen my academic portfolio and I would enjoy exploring Sweden,” said Penick. “I always hear about students travelling abroad or coming to the US as exchange students, so I feel like being a part of this exchange program rounds out my college experience. I look forward to using the supercomputers to speed computations and learning how to model physical systems with software.”  

The fellowship provides each student with $12,000, does not require them to pay tuition in Sweden, and allows each student to transfer credits back to WSU and graduate on time. The students from WSU will work collaboratively with students from LiU, who will also participate in an exchange semester at WSU. 

Prior participant testimonials expressed that this opportunity allowed them to travel the world and led them to making strong global engineering connections.  

“The overarching objective of the STARS program is to contribute to educating diverse internationally minded students for leadership in globalized multicultural societies,” said Joseph Iannelli, professor of mechanical engineering in the WSU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “The program offers $12,000 fellowships to remove financial barriers for students who long for international experiences. Based on their compelling applications, these brilliant computer science students look forward to studying and conducting research overseas and will become excellent ambassadors for WSU Tri-Cities in Sweden. Together with students from Vancouver and Pullman they will advance internationally the ideal of ‘One WSU’.” 

Click here for more information about the STARS program.