It was just under two years ago that ANU student, Matt Goh, was awarded the Trawalla Foundation-Weizmann Australia Scholarship to attend the 2016 Weizmann Institute of Science International Summer Science Institute (ISSI) in Israel – a trip that changed his life and his degree.
Now he has won a second scholarship, this time from Weizmann Israel, for the prestigious eight week Kupcinet-Getz International Summer School at Weizmann, to be held from June to August 2018 and designed for undergraduates.
When Matt attended the ISSI back in 2016 – designed for high school graduates – he had just started a double degree (Bachelor of Engineering (Research and Development) (Honours)/Bachelor of Science), but his trip to Weizmann trip changed all that.
“My time at ISSI made me realise that my real passion was for scientific research, so I dropped engineering and switched into ANU’s Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) – Science,” said Matt.
“This degree is essentially an advanced alternative to the Bachelor of Science. It comes with perks like an academic mentor and the ability to do research projects, but has a requirement of a High Distinction average to remain in the program. It’s been perfect for me and I’m really enjoying focusing on science.”
Again it was his previous Weizmann experience that triggered Matt to apply for undergraduate summer school.
“The ISSI alumni were encouraged to apply for the Kupcinet-Getz program, so it was on my radar. Last year, I didn’t apply as I was going to a summer exchange at Cambridge, but made sure I did this year. The rest was luck, a decent application, kind words from my referees, and the generosity of Weizmann!” he said.
The Weizmann Institute will fund accommodation and provide a stipend for all program participants, and Matt is over the moon.
“I’m thrilled to be going. I really loved my time at Weizmann and in Israel, and I was always hoping for a chance to return but didn’t think it would come so soon!” he said.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to get seriously involved with active research at Weizmann as not only will it be fun, it will give a huge boost to my early career. No from my ISSI and other experiences I can anticipate how great it will be to meet other young scientists from across the globe, make new friends and form a real sense of community.”
Matt will be work with the Nir Davidson Laboratory, a research group that spans laser physics, quantum optics, exotic states of matter (e.g. Bose-Einstein condensates and degenerate fermionic gases) and other related areas.
Overall Matt said he was truly grateful for this second opportunity and wanted to thank the Trawalla Foundation and Weizmann Australia for getting the ball rolling.
“I’d like to thank the Trawalla Foundation and the Weizmann Australia for getting me started on this journey. My time at university so far seems to have been a domino effect of one lucky break after another – and it all started with their decision to sponsor me for the ISSI,” he said.
Weizmann Australia Executive Director, Rina Michael, said she was delighted that Matt is continuing his connection with Weizmann.
“Matt is a perfect example of what we are trying to achieve through these types of programs – to merge Australian up and coming talent with Weizmann scientists and others around the globe,” she said.