Princeton Engineering student among four Gates Cambridge Scholarship winners

Princeton Engineering senior Natasha Turkmani has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The awards give outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom the opportunity to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge. The program was established in 2000 by a donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Cambridge to build a global network of future leaders committed to improving the lives of others.

The recipients are among 36 U.S. winners of the scholarship. A total of 90 scholarships are typically awarded each year, with international winners selected in the spring.

Turkmani joined Princeton seniors Penina Krieger and Charlotte Williams, as well as Class of 2013 graduate Erica Cao in receiving the scholarship this year.

Natasha Turkmani portraitTurkmani, of Washington, D.C., is a civil and environmental engineering major. She will study for a master's degree in engineering with a focus on energy technologies at Cambridge. Her proposed research aims to evaluate the economic and environmental trade-offs between deploying biofuels and hydrogen power as low-carbon transport alternatives. In her application, she wrote, "The transitional period between the present and 2050 represents a crucial period in which society must build the necessary infrastructure to support a green economy."

She was awarded the University's Shapiro Prize for Academic Excellence in 2015.

"Natasha is an exceptional student with a drive to understand complex environmental phenomena and solve major societal problems," said James Smith, the William and Edna Macaleer Professor of Engineering and Applied Science.

"Her research has centered on technological innovations that have the potential to provide carbon neutral energy systems for society," he said. "I expect Natasha to develop as a leading environmental scholar and contribute creatively to solutions of the daunting environmental challenges we face."

In summer 2015, Turkmani, a member of Forbes College, completed a research internship in Malaysia with University Teknologi Petronas through Princeton's International Internship Program.

She served as co-director of outreach for the Princeton University chapter of Engineers Without Borders for two years; tutors youth inmates as part of the Petey Greene Tutoring Program; and is a member of Black Arts Company: Dance, a student-led hip-hop group.

Krieger, of Merion Station, Pennsylvania, is a neuroscience major who is pursuing a certificate in cognitive science. She will study for a master's degree in biological science in the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at Cambridge.

Williams, of Princeton, is a concentrator in anthropology and is pursuing certificates in archaeology, Latin American studies and urban studies. She will study for a master's degree in archaeology in the Archaeological Heritage and Museums Track at Cambridge.

Cao, from Chesterfield, Missouri, earned her master's in music studies, specializing in music and clinical science, at Cambridge's Centre for Music and Science, also on a Gates Scholarship. She has been awarded a second Gates Scholarship for a Ph.D. degree in collaborative songwriting at Cambridge.

For more information about Williams, Krieger and Cao, read the main Princeton University story here.