Jacob Fuhrmeister is a University of Iowa graduate student studying mechanical engineering
Friday, April 7, 2023
Jacob Fuhrmeister

Jacob Fuhrmeister, a University of Iowa graduate student studying mechanical engineering, has been selected for a SMART scholarship through the U.S. Department of Defense to develop materials that can better withstand hypersonic travel.  

SMART is short for Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation and is part of the National Defense Education Program. 

Fuhrmeister is trying to design materials with more resilient microstructures and then use coding and modeling to predict how the material will deteriorate or hold up to hypersonic pressure. Hypersonic refers to five times the speed of sound.  

“This will lead to the development of technology that will aid in our offensive and defensive military capabilities that will hopefully deter war and protect our nation,” the Bettendorf native said.  

Fuhrmeister conducts research under the mentorship of H.S. Udaykumar, the Roy J. Carver Professor of Mechanical Engineering and associate dean for graduate programs, research and faculty at the UI College of Engineering.  

The SMART program is designed to cultivate future leaders in 21 STEM disciplines and is the largest education and workforce development initiative under the Department of Defense STEM Program. 

The scholarship will fund Fuhrmeister’s school and research during the school year. Each summer starting in 2024, Fuhrmeister will intern at the Eglin Air Force Base in the western panhandle of Florida until graduation. After graduation, Fuhrmeister will be hired full-time. The SMART scholarship comes with guaranteed employment with the Department of Defense after graduation.