April 18, 2013 — Patrick Goley (BSEE '13) has been accepted into the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program and will begin the ECE master's program in electrical engineering this fall.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based degrees in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines. Fellows are awarded a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 and a $10,500 cost of education allowance.
Selection for the program is very competitive, with only 15% of applicants receiving fellowship awards this year. Fellows are chosen based on their potential to make significant contributions to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.
Goley has been working with ECE's Mantu Hudait in the Advanced Devices & Sustainable Energy Laboratory (ADSEL). His current research explores high-k gate dielectrics for germanium channel MOSFET devices. He also serves as the lead software developer and technician for ADSEL's semiconductor device characterization facilities.
Goley plans to continue working with ADSEL as a graduate student. He plans to focus his research on the development of high-efficiency, cost-effective solar cells. After completing his M.S. and Ph.D., Goley hopes to eventually start a solar energy technology company.
"Solar energy technology has always excited me," says Goley. "Even after decades of steadily increasing efficiency and declining costs, solar energy is still not yet cost-effective, but a tipping point isn't far off."
As an undergraduate, Goley has been an active member of IEEE's Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Honor Society, serving as lead organizer and volunteer tutor for the weekly "Power Hour" tutoring sessions for the past two years. He has also served as the co-president of the Honors Residential College and as a member of the Residential College Advisory Board.
Goley was a 2012 recipient of the Virginia Tech Division of Student Affairs Aspire! Award for curiosity. He was awarded ECE's Karl Egerer/Kollmorgan Electrical Engineering Scholarship, as well as ECE's George R. Powley Memorial Scholarship.
"I am so grateful for all the support I have received over the years from Virginia Tech and the ECE department," says Goley. "I want to thank all of the professors I've taken courses with. Their work can, and often does, make a big impact in students lives. That has certainly been the case for me."