Breakthrough Technologies Scholarship

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Critical Systems, Inc. (CSI) is committed to supporting the breakthrough technologies that are being developed in Semiconductor and related industries.  We provide the gas delivery, gas abatement, and orbital welding, and other products & services that are fundamental to these technologies.  The innovations being developed ultimately benefit all of us – in medicine, energy, communications, and in many other areas.  We believe these advanced technologies will become even more important in the future.   As world population and demand for goods and services increase, the next generation will need to further embrace these technologies in order to effectively manage natural resources and address environmental challenges.

Many of our customers are universities and research organizations where these technologies are first cultivated.  That is why Critical Systems is now offering the Breakthrough Technologies Scholarship.   This scholarship will be awarded to 3rd or 4th year engineering/science students pursuing a career in Semiconductor and related specialty areas such as Nanotechnology, MEMS, Solar PV, Thin Film, or other advanced technologies.  There are currently 2 scholarships being awarded annually – one Summer Award, and one Winter Award. Each scholarship award is for $1000. The purpose is to help those students to meet the financial requirements as they pursue their degree, over and above any financial aid or other scholarships that they may receive.


Announcing the Spring 2014 Scholarship Award Winner

Critical Systems, Inc. would like to thank all of the students for their scholarship applications.  As we reviewed all of the submissions, we were impressed by your academic achievements and future aspirations.  You are the next generation of engineers and scientists who are equipped to effectively address the challenges of our rapidly changing world.

The winner of the 2014 Breakthrough Technologies Scholarship – Spring Award is…….   NATALIE BRIGGS!

Breakthrough Technologies Scholarship Recipient Spring 2014

Natalie is heading into her Senior year at the University of Washington where she is pursuing her Materials Science & Engineering degree.

Her first exposure to MSE was through a seminar course, where she discovered just how broad and versatile the field really is.   “Through the MSE program, I realized that I could pursue anything from human tissue engineering to airplane design, to the creation of electronic devices.  I immediately felt at home in a department that unified all of these areas under one roof.”

Natalie is certainly exploring the field.  She has participated in a NASA sponsored program where she carried out research on a mineralization directing peptide to artificially grow tooth enamel.   She has studied Crystallography, Electronic Properties, Functional Properties, and Materials Characterization, all of which has given her a basis for more in-depth laboratory work.    This summer, she will be at the University of Saarland Institute for Experimental Physics in Saarbruecken, Germany.   While there, she will be carrying out research on the effects of metallic and organic islands on graphene.

Natalie is also conducting research through the Nanoscale Optoelectronics Laboratory at UW.  “My current  research involves isolating, identifying and transferring monolayers of graphene. Combining graphene with other 2D crystals allows for the fabrication of new types of electronic devices. In addition, I have isolated layers of WSe2, a material with interesting optoelectronic properties. Further research will revolve around the idea that photon emission from WSe2 may be controllable through the application of strong electric fields.  Successful demonstration of this principal will allow for the creation of new, cutting edge devices.”

Our best wishes for a meaningful work and success go out to Natalie!


Scholarship Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a Breakthrough Technologies Scholarship, students must meet and/or demonstrate the following:

  • Current Junior or Senior standing at an accredited United States university
  • Official transcripts that confirm a cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.0 or higher.
  • Enrollment in your school’s college of engineering or material sciences (or equivalent), with at least 12 credit hours completed towards your major.
  • Completed at least 6 credit hours of classroom and/or lab work towards your minor/certificate/specialized area of study that utilizes micro and/or nano technologies.   These credit hours can be can be part of the overall 12 credit hour requirement.
  • Successful completion of the application form and written essays
  • Financial situation and/or monetary awards, or previous scholarships have no bearing on this scholarship award

How to Apply:

Successful applicants will fully complete the Scholarship Application.  A ‘live’ version of the application form will be made available ONLY during the open periods listed below.  During those periods, the form will provide more detailed instructions on filling out and submitting your application.  Outside of the open period, a non-editable format is provided for informational purposes only.

Note:  An official transcript will need to be mailed as part of your application, and must be received by the end of the application submission period.   The application form will provide a physical address where transcripts are to be sent.

Application Submission Periods:  Open periods to submit an application will be as follows:

  • Submission Period I (Spring Award):   March 15th, 2014 – April 30th, 2014  (Closed)
  • Submission Period II (Fall Award):   September 15th, 2014 – October 31st, 2014

Scholarship Award Winner Announcements: Winners will be announced on this web page on the following dates:

  • Award Announcement for Period I Submissions (Spring Award):  May 15th, 2014  (Awarded)
  • Award Announcement for Period II Submissions (Fall Award):  November 15th, 2014

Scholarship award winners will be contacted directly at the time of announcement.

CLICK HERE to view a copy of the Scholarship Application Form.   A live/editable version of the form is only available during the Open Periods.    Outside of the open periods, a non-editable version is provided for informational purposes.

Previous Scholarship Award Winners can be viewed here.


Since 2000, Critical Systems, Inc. (CSI) has been providing both large and small organizations with products and services that ‘surround the process tool’.  From orbital welding to complex gas delivery and abatement systems, CSI supports the breakthrough technologies of our customers every day with practical, innovative, and cost effective solutions.