UC Santa Barbara senior Tobias Mansuripur, a physics major in the College of Creative Studies, is one of 14 science and engineering students in the nation to receive a prestigious Winston Churchill Scholarship to pursue graduate studies at the University of Cambridge in England.
Churchill Scholarships are awarded annually to American students with exceptional ability and outstanding achievement in engineering, mathematics, or the sciences.
Mansuripur, who is from Tucson, Arizona, was selected from among 99 nominees for the award.
The scholarship will cover all tuition and fees, including airfare and a living allowance, for a nine- or 12-month program in the Churchill College at Cambridge.
Mansuripur is described by his UCSB faculty mentors as a "phenomenal student" who is both "brilliant in the classroom and gifted in the laboratory."
Since his sophomore year, he has conducted research in the micro-fluidics laboratory of Todd Squires, UCSB assistant professor of chemical engineering and a former Churchill scholar.
Already, Mansuripur is making important scientific contributions to the field.
He is the lead author of an article recently submitted to a physics journal for publication.
"Toby stands as a perfect example of how extraordinary UCSB students can be, and how talented students can thrive in UCSB's interdisciplinary environment," said Squires.
"He is a physics undergraduate who won the departmental prize for his research in the chemical engineering department, and now has won a scholarship to study in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge.
I expect great things from him.
I have been extremely fortunate to have him work in my lab."
At Cambridge, Mansuripur hopes to achieve a deeper understanding of theoretical physics by completing a Certificate of Advanced Study in Mathematics.
He plans to return to the United States to earn a Ph.D. in physics and become a professor.
"The Churchill Scholarship will enable me to study abroad and take part in the great math and physics program at Cambridge," said Mansuripur.
"These classes will give me a solid mathematical foundation before entering graduate school, which I hope will facilitate the process of joining a research group in graduate school and getting started on a project quickly."
The Winston Churchill Foundation was founded by American friends of Churchill, who wanted to fulfill his wish of always having young American graduate students at Churchill College.