Nathan Taylor Named to Fulbright Program

PHILADELPHIA, April 12, 2013 — Nathan TaylorNathan Taylor has a lot of packing to do. He’s among 25 students in the country selected to spend part of the next year conducting research in the Republic of Korea as a part of the prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the largest exchange program in the country.  Each year, more than 1,800 students and young professionals undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching as a part of the program. It began in 1945 after Sen. J. William Fulbright proposed the use of surplus war property to fund a program for students for the "promotion of international good will through the exchange of students in the fields of education, culture, and science." Fulbright currently has programs in 155 countries.

Taylor, a Ph.D. student with the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics, developed an interest in pursuing the program after visiting a friend in Turkey involved with the program.  He began his application in June 2012 and wrote a three page proposal on using electrical plasma discharge to treat water contaminated with pollution from fuel extraction. He was named a finalist in January 2013.

He learned of his acceptance to the program on March 22.

“It blew my mind, I was so excited,” Taylor said.

Fulbright selects students based on the quality and feasibility of the proposals, the academic performance and the extent to which the candidate and his or her project will help to advance Fulbright’s mission of promoting mutual understanding among nations through engagement of the host community.

“It’s a really great opportunity; we’re in a global world so it’s something [international collaboration] we’re going to have to do more and more.  It will build a good relationship, and that will be a good resource in the future to build a relationship between my lab and their lab,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s interest in plasma began after completing a senior design project at the A. J. Drexel Plasma Institute. He chose to continue his graduate research in the same field at the plasma lab. Through Fulbright, Taylor received funding for 10 months and hopes he can continue researching plasma in liquids at Kwangwoon University. He plans to include the research in his doctoral dissertation.

Taylor hopes to leave in August or September. Though, he has a few things to accomplish first, namely, brushing up on his Korean.

Taylor is advised by professors Alexander Fridman, Young Cho and research professor Danil Dobrynin.