Logo: University of Southern California

2 Big Awards for EE Undergrad

Electrical Engineering Undergrad Wins Prestigious Hertz Foundation Fellowship

April 01, 2004 —
Matthew Behrend, right, winner of two prestigious engineering awards, demonstrates an electric pulse generator used to study cell death, while Martin Gundersen, professor of electrical engineering, looks on. Photo: Diane Ainsworth
Matthew Behrend, a senior in electrical engineering at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, has been awarded a Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship and National Defense Science and Engineering (NDSE) award to support his graduate work in electrical engineering.


Behrend, who graduates in May, was one of only two electrical engineering undergraduates nationwide to receive the prestigious Hertz fellowship award and one of only 19 recipients nationally in science and engineering.

The fellowship is based on merit and pays for tuition and a personal support stipend for up to five years. Behrend will combine the Hertz award with the NDSE award to cover the costs of his graduate training in electrical engineering at the university of his choice.

“I’m very thankful for these awards,” he said. “They afford me the much-needed freedom to choose my projects and the scope of my research.”

Behrend, who has been admitted to both USC’s and MIT’s graduate electrical engineering programs, is interested in retinal prosthetics to help blind people see.
He has been active in multidisciplinary research in electrical and biomedical engineering, has published an article in IEEE Transactions on electric field exposure of biological cells and tissues, and co-authored six conference publications.

In May, the new USC graduate will participate in several presentations at the international IEEE Power Modulator Conference, to be held in San Francisco.