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Engineering Undergraduate Selected as Stamps Scholar

May 05, 2020   |   by Julie Bonette

Max Holden head shot

Engineering major Maxwell Holden ’22 has been selected as a 2020 Stamps Scholar, making him one of just 10 Dartmouth students chosen from among a highly competitive pool of candidates. Holden plans to use the scholarship to research the implementation of affordable energy solutions in developing countries.

After completing an internship at BP while he was a student in high school, Holden learned the importance oil has in fueling the world, but also looked closely at how its unsustainable depletion suggests the need for a worldwide energy revolution.

“I was thoroughly impressed with the significant impact the fields of renewable energy and sustainability can have on the daily lives of billions of people,” he said. “I believed clean energy would be at the crux of a paradigm shift for human development going forward, and I wanted to contribute to the field’s future innovations.”

His passion for social justice and sustainability led him to learn more about the issues affecting emerging nations and the infrastructure needed to provide better access to resources, especially in the face of climate change. He plans to use his Stamps Scholar funding to engineer novel micro-scale wireless sensors for plants and/or animals that would help manage energy resources and support smart agriculture. The high upfront cost and significant power consumption of the sensors have previously created barriers for potential users.

“Max is hoping to apply his work to developing new mobile sensor technologies for managing interconnected agricultural and energy systems in the developing world,” said engineering professor William Scheideler. Holden has been part of Scheideler’s Scalable Energy and Nanomaterial Electronics (SENSE) lab team since fall 2019.

Students selected as Stamps Scholars are given an opportunity to design an experiential learning plan to build on or respond to what they’ve already learned, and are awarded up to $10,000 per year for up to two years to enable experiences that will enhance academic and professional development.

Dartmouth’s Stamps Scholars Program was established in 2014 in partnership with the Stamps Scholars Strive Foundation to recognize and reward exceptional students who demonstrate academic merit, strong leadership potential, and exceptional character. The Dartmouth Stamps Scholars are part of a national network of Stamps Scholars located in 40 elite universities across the country, with the goal of enabling exceptional students to become meaningful leaders throughout society.

Holden also recently founded The Dartmouth Energy Alliance, an organization designed to cultivate a diverse and inclusive group of students interested in all aspects of energy. The club provides an opportunity to broaden understanding of the field, engage with The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society, and connect with the energy community at Dartmouth and beyond.

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