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DiRenzo earns Fulbright Scholarship

First-Class Cadet Joseph DiRenzo IV, a mechanical engineering major from Suffolk has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship as part of the 2010 selection process at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.

The Fulbright Program is an integral part of U.S. foreign relations, providing face-to-face exchanges to engage foreign publics and broaden dialogue between U.S. citizens and institutions abroad. DiRenzo’s scholarship comes from the Icelandic Fulbright Commission.

He has accepted and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Renewable Energy Science with a concentration on fuel cell systems and hydrogen technology at the School for Renewable Energy Science in Iceland. DiRenzo plans to do a research project on the feasibility of introducing hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity to power certain electrical systems onboard Coast Guard vessels.

At the Academy, DiRenzo chose to major in mechanical engineering because of its potential to transform people’s lives through the creative application of science and technology.

During his junior year at the Academy, he used his mechanical engineering skills on a project to design a renewable energy system to reduce dependence on a struggling generator at a Haitian orphanage. DiRenzo researched several low-technology energy alternatives, and designed a solar panel-based solution to the orphanage’s energy needs.

According to the U.S. Department of State, Fulbright alumni are the recipients of 40 Nobel Prizes, 65 Pulitzer Prizes, 26 MacArthur Foundation Awards and 16 Presidential Medals of Freedom.