Education

Richland High student earns $50,000 scholarship

Swetha Shutthanandan
Swetha Shutthanandan Courtesy Davidson Institute

A Richland High School senior who has received numerous accolades for her energy research and science projects has earned in a $50,000 college scholarship.

Swetha Shutthanandan, 17, will be among the 20 students honored at a reception of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29. She is one of only three students to receive the top scholarship prize awarded each year.

It was Swetha’s research into supercapacitors that made her a Davidson Fellow Laureate. Her work led her to develop supercapacitors, which are similar to batteries, with a new form of electrode that perform much better than supercapacitors that are currently available.

“I feel as though my finding will have a lasting global impact because many of us use supercapacitors on a daily basis,” she said in a news release.

She presented her research at Boeing this past summer while also working as an intern at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory through the Young Women in Science program.

Swetha won top prizes at regional and state science fairs and competitions in 2013 for her work looking at alternative materials for solar cell construction.

She won a gold medal in 2014 at the GENIUS International Olympiad in New York for her supercapacitor project. Last fall she was one of three Washington state students invited to be part of the American Junior Academy of Sciences.

Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver

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