Fall 2018 Richard E. Merwin Scholarship Winners Selected

POSTED BY on 02.06.2019

Ninety students applied for the Richard E. Merwin Student Scholarship during the fall 2018 cycle. The winners receive a $1000 scholarship and become ambassadors in their region. To apply, IEEE Computer Society student members provided substantial information on their IEEE involvement, awards they have received, non-IEEE activities, and their vision for their time as ambassador. Below is just a sampling of the Merwin Student Scholars’ qualifications.

Akhil Aduvala

Vaagdevi College Of Engineering

Electrical and Electronics Engineering


Akhil Aduvala is studying in an undergraduate program for a degree in electrical and electronic engineering. He is the vice chair of the Computer Society student branch chapter at Vaagdevi College of Engineering. He is also a publicity team member for World Blockchain Hackathon 2018. In 2017 and 2018, Aduvala won best project of the academic year at the department level. Beyond his work with IEEE, he is technical coordinator and a founding member of Vaagdevi Electrical Students Association. In 2017, Aduvala won the state level speech competition conducted by Election Commission of India on the occasion of National Voters Day.




Garima Badhan

Northern India Engineering College

Computer Science Engineering


Garima Badhan is an undergraduate student working toward a degree in computer science engineering. She is the chair of the Northern India Engineering College student branch and Women in Engineering affinity group. Badhan won first prize in the Women in Engineering Stand Project Presentation, organized by Delhi section for the project “Sign Language Detection Using Hybrid Machine Learning Model.” She was also selected for the Outstanding Student Volunteer Award 2018 for her contribution to IEEE and its activities, given by the student activities committee of the IEEE Delhi Section.

Badhan is a member of the Rotaract Club of Delhi Janak, and a volunteer at Awaaz—The Cultural Society of Northern India Engineering College.



Niharika Bolledla

Vaagdevi College of Engineering

Electronics and Communication Engineering


Niharika Bolledla is working toward her Bachelor of Technology degree in electronics and communication engineering at Vaagdevi College of Engineering. Bolledla is the secretary of the Vaagdevi College of Engineering student branch chapter and chair of her university’s Women In Engineering affinity group. In 2018, she earned a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebrations India, which is awarded to female students based on academic performance, and demonstrated leadership ability in technology and their community. Bolledla serves her community by volunteering at the Innovative Media Organization (IMO) in which, among other activities, she educated students in rural areas.




Savneet Kaur Chhatwal

GH Raisoni College of Engineering

Computer Science and Engineering


Savneet Kaur Chhatwal is an undergraduate studying computer science and engineering at GH Raisoni College of Engineering. She is the chair of the Computer Society student branch chapter at her university. She has volunteered for humanitarian initiatives at an animal shelter, which was organized by Nagpur subsection and has conducted a Unity 3D workshop and 3 other events. Chhatwal was the winner of the Smart India Hackathon, organized by the Government of India. She has been very involved in the life of her university, managing and coordinating events at the college level. She has also made an impact on her community through volunteering with Nagpur Mahila Club, an NGO working with women and children.



Waqas Ahmad Chaudhary

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah Campus

Computer Science


Waqas Ahmad Chaudhary is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in computer science at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah Campus. He is one of the founding members of the Computer Society student branch chapter at his university and is currently the chapter secretary. Chaudhary has also played a role in his chapter by organizing numerous events at his university. Chaudhary has distinguished himself from his fellow students through his academic achievements, most recently placing first among more than 200 students in academic achievement. He has also won first place in the Glider Module at PION’17, organized by IEEE PIEAS student branch, and second place in the quiz competition at COMTECH’18.





Ahmed Douik

California Institute of Technology

Electrical Engineering


Ahmed Douik is working toward his PhD in electrical engineering at California Institute of Technology. Douik was attracted to volunteering through an effort to create a young professionals affinity group at his university. In the past few years, he has served as secretary of the IEEE Young Professionals Metro Los Angeles section affinity group and treasurer of the IEEE Computer Society Metropolitan Los Angeles section chapter. Douik has received several awards and fellowships from IEEE and his universities, including the IEEE Region 6 Outstanding IEEE Young Professional Award, Publons Peer Review Award, Caltech Fellowship (2015-2016) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Fellowship. Ahmed has also worked as a research assistant and a teaching assistant at his various universities.




Kirtiraj Rajendraprasad Garud

Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani

Big Data Engineering


Kirtiraj Rajendraprasad Garud is a master’s student in Big Data Engineering at the Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani. His volunteer experience is too vast to list in the space available, but it includes his role as lead networking coordinator for the IEEE India Council student activities committee in 2017, the chair of the IEEE Student Branch G H Raisoni College of Engineering (GHRCE), Nagpur student branch in 2016 – 2017. Just as Garud’s volunteering experience is immense and varied, so are his awards. Among them are winner of the Gold Memento for Startup “Rainbow Dimensions” during the entrepreneurship summit Ignite 2015 held at GHRCE and the winner of the IIT Delhi Autonomous Robotics Championship Phase-1 under Technogyanam IIT Delhi (and selected for Phase 2 to be mentored at IIT Delhi). Garud is also a six-time medalist in the Indian Medical Association’s Doctors Day Celebration.




Sudipta Ghosh

Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

Computer Science and Embedded Electronics


Sudipta Ghosh is a PhD student who studies computer science and embedded electronics at the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. Ghosh currently serves at his university’s student branch chair and previously held the position of vice-chair of the IEEE Embedded Systems student club. Ghosh has received many fellowships and awards, including a fellowship from the Ministry of Human Resource Development of the Government of India for pursuing his doctorate. In 2016, he received partial travel grant from the IEEE Student Branch to present his research paper at 2016 IEEE Region 10 Conference (TENCON) in Singapore and full funding from IIT Kharagpur to present at the 40th Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC 2018) in Hawaii.






S. Varun Kumar

St. Joseph’s College of Engineering

Instrumentation and Control


S. Varun Kumar is a undergraduate student, studying instrumentation and control at St. Joseph’s College of Engineering. He is the chair of the Computer Society student branch chapter at his university. He previously served as treasurer and event organizer. Kumar is the recipient of International Society of Automation Educational Foundation Scholarship Award 2018. He won the National Level Open Challenge Competition “Solution to Problem” – DEFEXPO and “The Alexa and Arduino Smart Home Challenge,” conducted by Hackster.io. He won the “Young Scientist Award” for his project presentation at the National Level Design Contest in India. He is the International Society of Automation (ISA)  president at his university. Kumar is also an assistant swimming coach and a volunteer at the Rotary Club of Madras.




Abdul Halik M I

Jeppiaar Institute of Technology (JIT)

Mechanical Engineering


Abdul Halik M I is studying at Jeppiaar Institute of Technology for a Bachelor of Technology in mechanical engineering. He is a student mentor and was previously chair at the IEEE JIT student branch. He headed the editorial team for a student branch magazine at the university, which has published four issues with articles on emerging technologies and was written by students. Abdul Halik M I won first place for a paper presentation on “Humanoid Robotics” and in a poster presentation on “Agrona.”

Abdul Halik M I was involved in humanitarian efforts through his organizing a seven-day “Role of Youth in Society” camp and competitive activities through his participation in the Indian Karting Competition, an intercollegiate engineering design competition in which the student-teams design, engineer, build, test, promote and compete with a vehicle.




Amanda Merkley

Colorado State University

Computer Engineering and Mathematics


Amanda Merkley is studying for a bachelor of science in computer engineering and mathematics at Colorado State University. She is currently the chair of the student branch at the university, having served previously as event coordinator and webmaster. Merkley has received numerous scholarships and awards including the Micromotion Engineering Scholarship, Eta Kappa Nu membership at Colorado State University and A-Pin Award at Utah State University. Outside of her work with IEEE, she has been an undergraduate researcher in high performance computing and metabolic engineering, and treasurer of Women in Engineering at Utah State University, among others.






Muhammad Ammar Qureshi

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah Campus

Computer Science


Muhammad Ammar Qureshi is a Bachelor of Science student at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Wah Campus, studying computer science. Qureshi has participated in IEEE activities both on the student branch and chapter level. He is the chair of the Computer Society COMSATS Wah chapter. In the student branch, he has served as the head of the design team and the head of the web development team. For the Islamabad section, Qureshi has volunteered as the student activities committee web director. Qureshi’s activities are not limited to IEEE initiatives, but rather extend to projects like the Wall of Kindness and the Tree Plantation Drive. He has also offered his time to teach students in grades 5 to 7.




Govind R

College of Engineering Attingal

Computer Science Engineering


Govind R is working toward a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science Engineering at the College of Engineering Attingal. He is the chair of the IEEE Computer Society student branch chapter and of the IEEE student branch at his university. He has received awards for being an outstanding student, and has won first place in the Mini CNC Plotter Machine using Arduino at the Intercollege Technical Fest 2017 and Linea 3.0—Line Follower competition conducted by College of Engineering Attingal. Outside his work with IEEE, he has participated in a number of electronics competitions and has volunteered in a 3-day cleaning and electrical maintenance camp in flood-affected areas in Chengannur, Kerala, India.





Ganesh Reddy Ram Reddy

VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering & Technology

Electronics of Communication and Engineering


Ganesh Reddy Ram Reddy is working toward a Bachelor of Engineering and Technology in electronics of communication and engineering. Ram Reddy is currently the web designer for the IEEE VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology student branch, and recently served as its chair. He took first place for his paper presentation at the national technical event Convergence 2018. In 2017, Ram Reddy received an internship at BSNL Regional Telecom Training Centre in Gachibowli, Hyderabad. In addition to his work with IEEE, Ram Reddy has many interests, including table tennis in which he won runner up in the third state ranking table tennis competition at AAR Mahveer College of Engineering. Ram Reddy has also built a prototype for a robot that includes cleaning, monitoring and security features.



Aarya R Shankar

College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET)

Computer Science and Engineering


Aarya R Shankar is an undergraduate student who is pursuing a degree in computer science and engineering. She has volunteered for many events in her area. She is also the chair of the IEEE Computer Society CET chapter and a content writer for IEEE CS Compute. Shankar has many awards and scholarships to her name. In 2018, she won the Google Women TechMakers Scholarship. She won coding contests, including Codiva, Crack the Code at CultAWay and PreXtreme at the IEEE All Kerala Computer Society Student Congress. In both 2017 and 2018, Shankar was ranked in the 30s in the Indian Engineering Olympiad. In addition to her work with IEEE, Shankar has supported several clubs including Cell CET, Foss CET and Robotics CET. She has also volunteered for NASA Space Apps Challenge.





Jaya Shree V

Panimalar Institute of Technology

Electronics and Communication Engineering


Jaya Shree V is an undergraduate student, pursuing a degree in electronics and communication engineering at Panimalar Institute of Technology. She is currently the Women in Engineering (WIE) chair for the Panimalar Institute of Technology, Chennai. Jaya Shree V was previously the chair of the Communication Society student branch chapter at her university. She has been very active in her community, conducting a technical awareness program for schoolchildren at Dhasar Government Higher Secondary School in Thiruvallur, Chennai, and a social and educational awareness program among middle-school students in Ramalinga Adigalar Gurukula, Thoraipakkam, Chennai. Jaya Shree V’s awards include runner up in the technical quiz competition and the C Programming Contest, conducted by the IEEE student branch at the Panimalar Institute of Technology. She has also presented a paper on Smart Agriculture Using IOT in the PECTEAM2K18 international conference held at Panimalar Engineering College.



Staji Wilson

College of Engineering Chengannur

Electronics and Communication Engineering


Staji Wilson is working toward a Bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering at the College of Engineering Chengannur. She was a member of IEEE Kochi Hub Tech Team, an IEEE Kerala section initiative to foster young technical minds in Kerala. Wilson was a core team member of Robothon 3.0 and a member of Devcom. Wilson volunteered at the IEEE Computer Society India Symposium 2018, and at the IEEE Awards Program. She worked as a core committee member for Magnum 2018, the Biennial Technical Fest of College of Engineering Chengannur.




These students are now part of the select group of Richard E. Merwin Scholarship recipients. You too can join them. There will be two opportunities in 2019 for you to be one of 36 recipients in 2019. If you are eligible, plan to apply by the 30 April or the 30 September deadline at  www.computer.org/web/students/merwin.

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