MSU student receives prestigious NOAA scholarship

Martin McCandless (Photo by Russ Houston)

Contact: James Carskadon

STARKVILLE, Miss.—An aerospace engineering major at Mississippi State University is receiving a national scholarship designed to promote undergraduate training in ocean atmospheric science, research, technology and education.

Martin McCandless, a junior from Ridgeland, has been awarded an Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. As part of the scholarship, McCandless will receive up to $9,500 in academic assistance per year and the opportunity to complete a paid internship at a NOAA facility. The Bagley College of Engineering student is a member of the Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College and is a Provost Scholar at MSU.

“As a Provost Scholar, Martin is already a leader in undergraduate research, and the NOAA scholarship recognizes his commitment to pursuing high impact research at a national level,” said Tommy Anderson, professor and director of the university’s Office of Prestigious External Scholarships.

“Winners of the Ernest Hollings Scholarship often go on to be leaders in scientific discovery, who seek to advance the public’s understanding of why scientific research should matter to us all. I think that NOAA recognizes Martin’s rare ability to communicate with others the importance of his research, combined with a genuine curiosity for new and exciting opportunities with colleagues at MSU and across the nation,” Anderson said.

McCandless has conducted undergraduate research on the computational fluid dynamics of lung airway models. In middle school and high school, McCandless was able to work on weather balloon projects as part of a program sponsored by NASA and MSU, which he said gave him a curiosity about meteorology and ways to engineer new balloon designs.

“My interest in weather has allowed me to do outreach and help other schools ramp up similar programs,” McCandless said. “NOAA is always looking to improve existing models, so my research experience seemed like a good fit.”

McCandless will go through an orientation with NOAA this summer and spend 10 weeks in the summer of 2018 working at a NOAA facility. He said he is excited to discover the opportunities available to aerospace engineers at NOAA.

“I would like to pursue graduate studies in engineering,” McCandless said. “I’m grateful for this scholarship because it will help me explore this career field.”

For more on the Hollings Scholarship program, visit

More information on MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College can be found at

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Friday, May 26, 2017 - 8:18 am