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IEEE-USA Government Fellowships

Enabling Science, Technology & Engineering Professionals to Work With and Advise Government Policymakers

Each year, IEEE-USA sponsors government fellowships for qualified IEEE members.  The fellows chosen by the IEEE-USA Government Fellows Committee and confirmed by the Board spend a year in Washington serving as advisers to the U.S. Congress and to key U.S. Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development decision-makers. Known as Congressional Fellowships, Engineering & Diplomacy Fellowships, or Engineering & International Development Fellowships, this program links science, technology and engineering professionals with government, and provides a mechanism for IEEE's U.S. members to learn firsthand about the public policy process while imparting their knowledge and experience to policymakers.

Program News & Notices

Dr. Kyle Bunch, a 2013 Engineering and Diplomacy Fellow, has completed his fellowship and received a U.S. State Department Meritorious Honor award for "Sustained superior Performance from April 2013 to April 2014 in executing the U.S. National Strategy to counter the global threat of improvised explosives devices." Dr. Bunch is an great example of an IEEE-USA Government Fellow who is so successful, that his host agency elects to extend the fellowship for one year.

(l. to r.) Ambassador-at-Large and Coordinator for Counterterrorism Tina Kaidanow and Dr. Kyle Bunch

IEEE-USA is pleased to participate in the AAAS S&T Fellowship Program, which celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2013.  The Anniversary Video features former IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow (and IEEE President) Gordon Day.


We will begin accepting pplications for the 2016-2017 IEEE-USA Government Fellowships in June 2015.

Deadline for 2016-2017 fellowships - FRIDAY, 15 JANUARY 2016

Congressional Fellowship
Information & Application

State Department Engineering & Diplomacy Fellowship
Information & Application

USAID Engineering & International Development Fellowship
Information & Application


Interested IEEE members may apply for one or all of the three IEEE-USA fellowships. However, applicants must submit (3) THREE separate applications, one for each fellowship. IEEE-USA will not accept a single application stating that you are interested in all three fellowships.

Be mindful of the fact that the three fellowships are very different from each other. If you are applying for more than one, you must submit separate cover letters, separate application packets, and separate reference letters. Your cover letters, references, and application materials should reflect an understanding of the distinctions between the executive and legislative branch fellowships, and illustrate the experiences and qualifications that might benefit you in each fellowship.

The 2014-2015 Congressional Fellows

Dr. Bob Bartolo is a research scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park, conducting research on a variety of photovoltaic technologies for renewable energy. Prior to working at UMD, he was a research scientist at the Naval Research Laboratory for 12 years where he worked on several DoD-related research projects including mid-infrared lasers, fiber optic acoustic sensing, and the fundament origins of electronic and system noise in a variety of optoelectronic devices. He has served as Vice-President for the DC-Northern VA Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society for the last five years. Dr. Bartolo has lived on Capitol Hill for over 14 years, and hopes to considerably lower his carbon footprint by being able to walk to his new assignment, and a few Washington Nationals games.

Bob obtained his PhD in Physics from Purdue University, working on a fundamentally new type of photovoltaic effect in gold nanowires in response to microwave radiation. As an undergraduate, he was a double major in both Economics and Physics at the University of California - Irvine where he first developed an interest in both physics and science policy. He hopes to greatly expand upon that passion soon.

Dr. Shawn Kimmel received his Ph. D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines as a NSF IGERT SmartGeo Fellow. His multidisciplinary dissertation focused on intelligent jobsite technology for geotechnical applications, and policy considerations for adoption of such intelligent systems.  This research involved the development of machine integrated measurement devices through finite element modeling of machine-soil interaction, and field testing of instrumented machines on construction projects. By conducting interviews with industry professionals, Shawn identified pathways to innovation adoption within the US highway construction industry.

His expertise in robotics and automation was developed while working at Caterpillar Inc. and through academic studies. At Caterpillar Inc., Shawn worked on intelligent mine sites by automating haul trucks and drills. He holds a B.S. and M.S. from Virginia Tech with a focus on robotics and automated systems. In pursuit of autonomous vehicles, he was a team member of Virginia Tech's entry to the DARPA Urban Challenge that placed 3rd in the competition.

As a Summer Associate at RAND Corporation, Shawn conducted policy analysis of energy foresighting for Southeast Asia and technology acquisitions for the US Department of Defense. By synthesizing energy scenarios and stakeholder priorities, his work provided energy policy guidance to the 10 member nations of the ASEAN group. Shawn applied social network theory analysis to identify areas of emerging technologies for the Department of Defense.

The 2014-2015 Engineering & Inernational development (USAID Department) Fellow

Dr. Chandra Curtis is the Research and Applied Science Team Lead for the Science and Technology Competency at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic. She is responsible for leading, managing, and mentoring scientific staff, and performs both theoretical and experimental work to assure 7.1 research projects successfully progress to address C4ISR technical challenges for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

Dr. Curtis has also served as Associate Director for the Office of Naval Research in in Tokyo where she developed and expanded technology plans for International programs in Distributed Operations from concept to a nearly $1M portfolio. From 2006 -2008, she served in Singapore as part of the prestigious Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program (ESEP) managed by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR). As part of an international collaboration between USAF and the Singapore Ministry of Defense, she worked with the Computer Vision Group in the Temasek Laboratories at Nanyang Technological University on a high resolution camera array project for foliage penetration using mega-pixel resolution cameras.

In 2002, she led the formation of competencies in the area of Reconfigurable Computing (RC) for the next generation of munitions and image processing on micro-air vehicles for the Air Force Research Laboratory Munitions Directorate. Her studies and research of leading edge technology in RC have produced results in real-time processing optimizations of algorithms for improved performance in small unmanned systems.

Dr. Curtis received a B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University  She is a member of IEEE, ACM, NSBE, and SPIE.  She currently serves as Chair of the IEEE Joint Computer, Communications, and Power & Energy Chapter and as volunteer for many STEM activities in the Lowcountry. Dr. Curtis has authored and co-authored several publications on Reconfigurable Computing, Fuzzy Logic, Neural Networks, and Memory Optimization. She was also a guest editor for the special section on Social Computing and Cultural Modeling for the July/Aug 2011 issue of IEEE Intelligent Systems Magazine. She has received several national and international honors in recognition of her meritorious service under the U.S. Department of Defense including the 2014 Charleston Joint Engineers Council Engineer of the Year.

For additional reference...

IEEE-USA Today's Engineer, December 2011, What Does it Take to be an IEEE-USA Government Fellow? By Sherry Gillespie, Ph.D. and Tom Tierney, Ph.D.

IEEE-USA Today's Engineer, January 2011, Federal Government 101: The IEEE-USA Congressional and State Department Fellowships, By Norman C. Lerner, Ph.D., P.E. (At the request of the US Permanent Representative to the Organization of American States — the location of Dr. Lerner's fellowship — he is his 2010 fellowship through 2011. Dr. Lerner contributed significantly to a new program sponsored by the OAS Office of Science and Technology, and it was determined that he was instrumental to the program's continued success.)

AAAS publication: "From the Lab to the Hill: Essays Celebrating 20 Years of Congressional Science and Engineering Fellows," which includes essays by IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow alumni Charles Bostian, LeEarl Bryant, Tom Fagan, George Swetnam and Don Willyard.

6 DEC 2007: US News & World Report article: Wanted on the Hill: A Few Good Scientists

Last Update: 26-Mar-2015

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