Senior Wins Marshall Scholarship

Duke University Senior Wins Marshall Scholarship

Dan Roberts, a Pratt School of Engineering student involved in research that created such unconventional electromagnetic devices as an “invisibility cloak” will receive one of 40 Marshall Scholarships offered for the 2009-10 academic year.

Roberts, a senior from Melville, N.Y., is the 19th Marshall Scholar from Duke.

Established in 1953 to commemorate the Marshall Plan, the scholarships are awarded each year to 40 or more “talented, independent and wide-ranging” young Americans to finance two years of graduate level studies at a college or university in the United Kingdom.dan_roberts_small.jpg

Roberts majors in both physics and electrical & computer engineering, and minors in mathematics. He currently conducts research in the laboratory of David R. Smith, William Bevan Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering. Smith’s lab is known for its work in transformation optics and metamaterials -– and specifically for developing the so-called “invisibility cloak.” (For more about the invisibility cloak, see http://www.pratt.duke.edu/news/?id=792.)

For the first year of the scholarship program, Roberts plans to complete a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. During the second year, he will conduct research at Imperial College, London, with Sir John Pendry, a leader in the field of transformational optics. Pendry is also a research collaborator with David R. Smith.

“We are proud that the work of one of our students has been recognized by such a distinguished and competitive scholarship,” said Tom Katsouleas, dean of Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering. “It is exciting to see that Dan will be able to continue his research with one of the giants in the field.”

Roberts’ research is focused on the use of novel coordinate transformations to create unconventional electromagnetic devices.

“I am excited and honored to have the chance to work with Professor Pendry, who is the foremost authority of the field I study -- transformational optics,” Roberts said. “I couldn’t imagine a better research opportunity than to work in an emerging field with one of its leading investigators.”

Previously, Roberts received a Goldwater Scholarship for the current school year. This scholarship provides up to $7,500 toward annual tuition and expenses to college sophomores and juniors in the field of mathematics, science or engineering.