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Brian Goessling wins the Fulbright Award

Brian Goessling Fulbright Award Recipient

The Fulbright Student Program, funded by the U. S. Department of State, is a prestigious international educational exchange program that includes partnerships with more than 155 countries. Winners are chosen for their academic merit, ability to serve as cultural ambassadors and leadership potential. Fulbright winners will study, conduct research or teach abroad for one year.

Brian Goessling, electrical engineering graduate student, will study micro-energy harvesting in Germany.

From Union, Kentucky in Northern Kentucky. During my time at UofL, I have been involved with Speed School Student Council, IEEE, Catholic Campus Ministry, REACH as a computer tutor and later Computer Resource Center GSA, and as the Speed News Editor.  I had the chance to take three classes in MEMS Technology (Fundamentals of Microfabrication and MEMS, MEMS Design and Fabrication and Lab, and Microfluidics), in addition to working with bistable MEMS switches (fabrication and control) under Dr. Cindy Harnett as parts of my capstone, independent study, and Master’s thesis. Through my co-ops in Chicago for a software engineering company (Packetvideo), I had a chance one semester to take a German course in the evenings at the Goethe Institut. In addition to finishing my thesis this summer, I am also practicing my spoken German in preparation for my trip by meeting with others in Louisville through the Louisville Stammtisch German Language group that I founded earlier this year.

Studies in Germany
In essence I will study and research at the University of Freiburg’s Insitute of Microsystem Technology (IMTEK) located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. Freiburg is in the south-west of Germany, on the edge of the Black Forest, near the border with France and Switzerland. (Microsystem Technology is the European equivalent to MEMS, or microelectromechanical systems, a term more used in America). I will be researching methods for using MEMS technology to convert mechanical vibration into useable electrical energy. This could be applied to bridges to capture the vibrations from cars (possibly to power the lights) or even on loud factory equipment in order to make the system more energy efficient by recapturing some of the waste vibrational energy. Eventually the technology could be adapted to increase battery life on hand-held devices that could charge simply by you walking around with them or get an extra boost by being shook. The flashlight technology utilizes the principles made famous by the shake-to-charge flashlights (“Faraday flashlights”) which utilize the principle that a moving magnetic field (shaking magnet) induces a current in a wire. My challenge would be to shrink this technology to a much smaller scale, potentially making it much more efficient at capturing an even great percentage of the waste energy. In addition to my research, I plan to work on my German and take every chance I get to travel around in Germany and Europe.

Cinci Enquirer Article
Brian Goessling of Union is one of 12 University of Louisville scholars selected to study abroad through the Fulbright Student Program, a prestigious international exchange scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.

Goessling expects to complete his UofL graduate degree in electrical engineering this summer. After a month-long German language course, he will use his Fulbright research grant to study at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Microsystems Engineering and participate in a research project about microenergy harvesting.

While at UofL, Goessling has been active in the Speed School Student Council, the Resources for Academic Achievement program, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Catholic Campus Ministry.

Goessling, a 2005 graduate of Larry A. Ryle High School, is the son of Julie Redden Goessling and Stephen J. Goessling Sr. of Union.

Grant Project (pdf)

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