MU engineering student wins scholarship from the Department of Defense

Monday, May 24, 2010 | 9:24 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — An MU senior was one of 200 students out of 3,300 applicants to win a scholarship from the Department of Defense.

Adam Rubemeyer won the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship from the Department of Defense and the American Society for Engineering Education. He is majoring both in industrial engineering and business administration and currently conducting research for Boeing.

“I’m incredibly honored to have been selected as a recipient of this great award,” Rubemeyer said in an e-mail.

The scholarship provided by the SMART program will pay his tuition and provide a monthly stipend, but it requires him to work for the Department of Defense upon his graduation for the same number of years that he receives the funding.  

Rubemeyer, who has been interested in the military and defense, said he is glad to have the opportunity to work for the department. He attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Defense, Intelligence and Diplomacy during his senior year of high school, which helped him understand how the defense area of government works.

“Working for the (Department of Defense) is a great honor for me,” Rubemeyer said in an e-mail. “It will be a great opportunity to gain valuable experience with them and perform a job that can help improve their operations and keep more Americans and people of the world safe.”

Rubemeyer said his qualifications and school credentials, including his current undergraduate research with Boeing, may have bettered his chances of winning.

His primary research has focused on reducing energy costs in Boeing’s supply chain and how changes in oil and gas prices should affect its decisions for selecting suppliers.

“I think my research experience with Boeing helped attract interest from the (Department of Defense) because it shows an interest in military defense,” Rubemeyer said. “Energy reduction is such a hot topic in the economy and society in general, so any experience in the area gives me a leg up on the competition.”

James Noble, a professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering Department at MU, said Rubemeyer’s efforts had earned him the scholarship.

“Adam is a very talented individual,” Noble said. “He is a hardworking student and an undergraduate researcher at MU. The scholarship reflects his hard work.”

As part of his research, Rubemeyer is currently working on creating a software interface in Excel that can provide Boeing with calculated costs of shipping, transportation and fuel for shipments from suppliers. It will allow Boeing to compare total costs of potential suppliers and determine which supplier would be the best choice for the company. He expects to conclude this project sometime this summer.

Rubemeyer plans to graduate in December and has to work in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for at least a year and a half, he said. He hopes to continue working for the Department of Defense long enough to gain experience. Someday, he would like to venture into entrepreneurship and open his own business.    

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