Engineering student Mike Cavazza selected for global scholarship

Penn State New Kensington engineering student Michael Cavazza was named as one of the 2013 recipients of the Star Scholarship Award by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).

A sophomore petroleum and natural gas engineering major, Cavazza was one of 50 scholars selected throughout the world. The Star scholarships and fellowships support students who are pursuing degrees related to the oil and gas industry. The award is renewable for four years. SPE is a worldwide organization that serves managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals in the oil and gas industry.

Headquartered in Richardson, Texas, the company collects, disseminates and exchanges technical knowledge concerning the exploration, development and production of oil and gas resources. Since enrolling at the campus, scholarships and awards have been as much a part of Cavazza’s college career as class schedules and text books.

Last year, the Indiana, Pa., resident was selected for a Chancellor Fellowship, a program that allows students to collaborate with faculty on specific projects. In the fall, Cavazza worked with Robert Mathers, associate professor of chemistry, analyzing the kinetics of a soybean-based polymer that could be an alternative to petroleum-based polymers. In the spring, he earned an award from the Undergraduate Research program to continue the research. The stipend program supports student research by encouraging faculty members to design undergraduate research projects.

Academic excellence runs in Cavazza’s family. His brother, Matt Cavazza, was awarded a Chancellor’s Fellowship as a freshman and researched and experimented with biofuels under the mentorship of Mathers. A year later, he earned a paid summer internship at Dominion Resources, as well as a $5,000 scholarship. He spent two years at the New Kensington campus before moving on to the University Park campus where he is a senior in the engineering and natural gas program. The patriarch of the family, Eric Cavazza, attended Penn State DuBois before finishing his bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering at University Park. Following in the footsteps of his father and older brother, Michael will complete his studies at University Park beginning in fall 2014.

The younger Cavazza will be honored Sept. 29 at the SPE awards banquet in New Orleans.

For more on Cavazza, visit\.


Media Contacts: 

Bill Woodard

Work Phone: 
Home Phone: 
Cell Phone: 

Alumni and Public Relations Specialist

Last Updated August 14, 2013