Electrical engineering student wins scholarship to study in Japan

February 08, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Tim Brubaker of Schnecksville, Pennsylvania, an electrical engineering Ph.D. candidate, was named a recipient of a Monbukagakusho Scholarship from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT).

This government scholarship program was established in 1954 and gives students from around the world an opportunity to study in Japan. The two-year scholarship will support Brubaker as he conducts low-temperature plasma research at Nagoya University. 

In order to qualify to receive the scholarship, Brubaker had to earn a Japanese embassy recommendation. To do so, he was required to pass an initial screening that included a documentary examination, a written language test and an interview. His preparations for studying abroad started when he was an undergraduate student at Penn State: He took three semesters of Japanese, studied the country’s religions, and was president of the University’s Kendo club.

“I also contacted Professor Masaru Hori at Nagoya University and proposed the research I’m doing here for my dissertation. He accepted me as a student, which helped me with my application for the scholarship,” said Brubaker.

In January, Brubaker found out that he was selected for the scholarship and leaves for Japan in April. As he prepares for his time abroad, he is tying up loose ends on research and purchasing and packing equipment he’ll need for the lab.

The Hori–Sekine Laboratory at Nagoya University is a leading group in plasma medicine, a developing interdisciplinary field that encompasses the technology of low-temperature plasma and its applications in cancer treatment, surface treatment, and more. Sven Bilén, professor of engineering design, electrical engineering and aerospace engineering and Brubaker’s adviser, is also investigating various plasma medicine devices along with other colleagues at Penn State.

“Tim will be an emissary and work to establish relationships between our two universities while he’s learning new techniques that he can bring back to our lab,” said Bilén. “This fellowship is something he researched on his own — it was very important to him. He is a meticulous student and a very good candidate for this fellowship.” After his time in Japan, Tim will return to the department to complete his doctorate. 

Although much of Brubaker’s time abroad will be spent in the lab conducting research, he does have plans to do some sightseeing — his first stops he says will be Okinawa and Mount Fuji — as well as visit some friends who are living in Japan and continue studying Kendo.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 09, 2016