Millen, Newman earn scholarships from the U.S. Department of Defense

Two School of Engineering students have received a Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship from the Department of Defense.
Written by: Grant Martin
Media contact: Brianna Hoge

University of Alabama at Birmingham  School of Engineering students Nicholas Millen and Zachary Newman have each received a Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation Scholarship from the United States Department of Defense. The awards will provide the students with full tuition for up to five years, in addition to mentorship, summer internships, a stipend and full-time employment after graduation.

Both students came to UAB to study biomedical engineering, but Millen and Newman each switched their majors after gaining experience in mechanical and materials engineering.

Newman changed to materials engineering after interning in the UAB Materials Processing and Applications Development facility, where he focused on polymer matrix composites materials. About the opportunities presented by the SMART Scholarship, Newman said, “I’m truly honored to be selected for this prestigious scholarship program.”

Millen says his strong background in math led him to choose biomedical engineering as a major, but that changed when he began working with Air Force jets and weapons systems during Tech School with the Air Force.

“When I went to basic training in February of 2021, I was still a biomedical engineering student,” Millen said. “When I started Tech School, I noticed that everything on the outside of the jets was from Lockheed Martin, and most of the parts from the motors and systems we took apart were from General Electric. I was like, ‘man, I want to work with one of those companies.’” 

Millen — a current member of the Air National Guard — will work at Robins Air Force Base near Macon, Georgia. Newman will work at Missile Defense Agency in Huntsville, Alabama.

Millen and Newman are the third and fourth UAB Engineering students to receive SMART Scholarships over the past four years.