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Kirk Smith named 2017 Rhodes Scholarship finalist

University of Tulsa mechanical engineering senior Kirk Smith of St. Louis, Mo., is a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Rhodes Scholarship, the oldest international collegiate fellowship in the world.

Kirk SmithRhodes finalists are selected for their outstanding scholarly achievements, character, commitment to others and potential career leadership. Each year, 32 Rhodes Scholars receive two years of full financial support to pursue a degree at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

“I’m incredibly honored to have been selected as a finalist. The possibility of studying at Oxford is very exciting,” Smith said. “I hope to perform research there to decrease the cost of renewable energy technologies.”

In addition to studying mechanical engineering, Smith is a captain of the Golden Hurricane cross country and track & field teams. As a scholarship recipient of the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst – DAAD), he was invited to participate in the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE Germany) program in the summer of 2016. He interned at Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt and assisted doctoral students with thesis research on polymeric solar thermal collectors.

“We could not be more proud of Kirk. The dedication and effort he puts forth is exemplary,” said TU President Gerry Clancy. “Kirk’s research is truly groundbreaking and has the potential to be a game-changer for the future of solar energy.”

Smith is a member of TU’s Global Scholars program and a National Merit Scholar. He will interview for one of the two District VIII Rhodes Scholarships later this month in Houston.

Smith follows TU chemistry major Austin Evans (BS ’16), who was a Rhodes finalist last fall.