40 Finalists Named for the 2017 Hertz Fellowships

January 31, 2017

The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation has announced the 40 finalists for its PhD fellowship in applied science, math and engineering for the class of 2017. They were selected from more than 700 applicants. Each Fellowship consists of up to 5 years of academic fiscal support valued at $250,000 and research freedom at a participating graduate institution in the United States. The recipients of the 2017 Hertz Foundation Fellowship will be notified in the spring.

“We are pleased to make this announcement,” stated Robbee Baker Kosak, Hertz Foundation President. “With such an outstanding field of applicants, it was quite challenging to select only 40 finalists. The Selection Committee will have a very difficult job during the final round of interviews and the final selection of 12 recipients. I wish each of the Finalist well.”

Since 1963, the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation has been providing PhD Fellowships to exceptionally talented individuals expected to have the greatest impact on the application of science, math and engineering to human problems. It is the legacy of John Hertz, a Hungarian immigrant who made his fortune by capitalizing on the entrepreneurship prospects in the budding automotive industry, and who strongly believed that innovative and entrepreneurial solutions were vital to the strength, security and prosperity of our nation.

Today, The Hertz Fellows number nearly 1,200—66 of whom are currently pursuing their PhDs. Together, they comprise one of the most influential groups of leaders, innovators, engineers, mathematicians, and scientists found in the American corporate, university, national laboratory and military sectors. In addition to financial support, the Foundation provides ongoing mentoring, symposia, and retreats to build a network of peers, providing Fellows a forum to share ideas and explore opportunities throughout their careers.

In 2011, the Foundation became a public charity, a status that enables it to mobilize the Hertz Community and many others to raise additional funds for growing and extending the Hertz Foundation’s legacy.

View the printable 2017 Hertz Fellowship Finalists list >> Download the PDF


Name Field of Study Present or Recent School
Deniz Aksel Biophysics Harvard University
Han Altae-Tran Biological Engineering MIT
Andrew Bader Mechanical Engineering MIT
Alec Brenner Earth and Geosciences California Institute of Technology
Wes Brown Chemical Biology University of Pittsburgh
Rebecca Carlson Biological Engineering Michigan State University
Iris Cong Physics UC Los Angeles
Colin Defant Mathematics University of Florida
Jordan Doman Chemistry and Chemical Engineering University Pennsylvania
Alyssa Ferris Biological Engineering Stanford University
Andrew Fraser Biomedical Engineering and Medicine Johns Hopkins University
Shawn Gregory Materials Science and Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology
Ofer Grossman Theoretical Computer Science MIT
Richard Hall Biological Engineering Stanford University
Linus Hamilton Applied Mathematics MIT
Blake Hauser Quantitative Biology University of Cambridge
Preston Kemeny Geological and Planetary Science California Institute of Technology
Robert Kim Neuroscience UC San Diego
Ethan Lake Physics University of Utah
Hannah Larson Mathematics Harvard University
Joseph Levin Systems Biology Queen's College
Jason Li Computer Science Carnegie Mellon University
Craig Martin Earth and Geosciences University of St. Andrews
Aran Nayebi Quantitative Biology and Bio-Engineering Stanford University
Lila Neahring Synthetic Biology UC San Francisco
Christopher Panuski Applied Physics U.S. Naval Academy
Gregory Parker Applied Mathematics and Statistics Harvard University
Alexander Powers Chemistry UC Berkeley
Suhas Rao Quantitative Biology Stanford University
Semen Rezchikov Mathematics Columbia University
Jacob Shenker Biophysics Harvard University
Ellen Shrock Biological Engineering Harvard University
Andrey Sushko Experimental and Applied Physics Harvard University
Ashvin Swaminathan Mathematical Physics Harvard University
John Tomko Materials Science University Virginia
Annie Wei Physics Perimeter Institute
Yuval Wigderson Applied Mathematics Stanford University
Shannon Wongvibulsin Biological Engineering Johns Hopkins University
Young Wu Aerospace Engineering U.S. Air Force Academy
Kevin Zhou Physics MIT