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T&T students win Nasa scholarships

Sunday, August 31, 2014
From left, US Embassy public affairs officer Stephen Weeks, Stefan Hosein, Jason Renwick and Niherst president Maureen Manchouck. Photo courtesy the US Embassy

Two students from the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, have won scholarships to participate in a four-month internship programme at Nasa’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California, beginning Tuesday. Jason Renwick, 19, from Santa Cruz and Stefan Hosein, 21, from Chaguanas, were awarded the internships following a rigorous competition which included more than 20 of the nation’s brightest local students studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem). 

This is the first Nasa International Internship Programme (NASA I2) with T&T. It was launched locally in February and is the result of a partnership between Nasa and the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (Niherst). Other partners include the US Embassy, Port-of-Spain, and UWI. 

The two students will follow an intense study programme in their fields of specialisation. Renwick will research electronics prognostics, while Hosein’s work will focus on biologically-inspired machine intelligence. They will be conducting cutting-edge research under the mentorship of senior scientists at Nasa, as well as attending lectures and seminars at leading research centres, visiting state-of-the-art laboratories, and interacting with some of the world’s best minds in Stem.

“I feel honoured to be chosen for this incredible opportunity fulfilling a lifelong dream of mine which began when I joined the Nasa kids club at the age of seven,” Renwick said. “I hope to make the most of this opportunity for the benefit of all involved, to enhance my personal development, as well as my future studies and career as an engineer.”

Hosein plans to pursue a doctorate in the field of artificial intelligence. He said, “I hope to bring back all the knowledge I gain from this unique experience and help build the field of computer science in T&T.”