For Hannah Stuart, the words “student” and “athlete” are complementary.
Stuart was attracted to GW’s athletic department and the School of Engineering and Applied Science while looking at colleges when she was in high school. GW was only Stuart’s first stop – she has been sent to Beijing and other cities in the U.S. for her studies.
“Growing up, I never imagined I would be able to shake the hand of both [first lady] Michelle Obama and [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton,” she said. “Engineering took me on so many adventures that I didn’t foresee when I came to college. I had no idea the amount of creativity that engineering entails.”
Stuart received a National Science Foundation grant to spend two months in Beijing, working on fuel cell research.
The mechanical engineering major was awarded the SEAS Student Research and Development Showcase Prize for Best Undergraduate Entry for the research she conducted on sustainable energy in Beijing.
“The whole experience was so inspirational that I hope my eventual career has a strong international component,” she said.
Stuart will travel to Houston with a team of engineering students this summer to perform an experiment in microgravity onboard a NASA aircraft.
Leadership in both the athletic and engineering communities has also been a major part of Stuart’s undergraduate years. She served as a student representative in the Student-Athlete Advisory Council and is a member of Alpha Omega Epsilon, an international engineering sorority. She also served as president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers this year.
A member of the varsity volleyball team for all of her four years, Stuart said her “teammates were like my family away from home; they were a huge support system for me.” Capping off her athletic career, the outside hitter was awarded GW’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council Senior Female Athlete Award.
This fall, Stuart will attend Stanford University as a graduate fellow. She will complete her master’s of science degree in mechanical engineering with a concentration in energy systems design.
“I hope to utilize my education for a future career in advanced energy research and in educating a new generation of engineers.”