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Troy, N.Y. -  5/31/2017

LRC Graduate Students Earn Prestigious Scholarships, Awards

Students' photoSeven graduate students from the Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have earned prestigious awards this year, including the Nuckolls Fund Jonas Bellovin Scholar Achievement Award, the IESNYC Scholarship, the IESNYC Thesis Prize, the Howard Brandston Student Lighting Design Education Grant, the ARCC Dissertation Award, the ARCC King Student Medal, and the Rensselaer School of Architecture Graduate Recognition Award.

“Of particular note is the fact that several of the award submissions were bolstered by the students’ application of research principles, and that is a reflection of the LRC’s graduate program curriculum,” said LRC Associate Director and Professor Russ Leslie.

In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers M.S. and Ph.D. programs to educate future leaders in lighting. With more than 35 faculty and staff working closely with 15 select graduate students, and a 30,000 sq. ft. laboratory space, the LRC is the largest university-based lighting research and education organization in the world.

“In addition to lighting technology, design, human factors, and applications, LRC students are immediately immersed in hands-on, cross-disciplinary research, unlike any other lighting education program,” said Leslie, who also attributes the LRC graduates’ 100 percent job placement rate to program design.  

The M.S. in Lighting program at Rensselaer is a 9-month degree program that allows students to engage with world-class faculty experts in architecture, engineering, design, and biosciences. Students enrolled in the M.S. in Lighting program explore emerging trends in customization and data analytics, in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and connected lighting, 3D printing of lighting components, lighting for circadian health and wellbeing, lighting for plant health, aviation and automotive lighting, and other topics in lighting technology, application and design. The LRC attracts students with undergraduate degrees in engineering, physics, biology, psychology, architecture, and design.

The program culminates in a master’s project in the second semester during which each student focuses on a particular area of interest under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Some examples of recent student projects include: remote monitoring of LED lighting system performance, designing a portfolio of lighting patterns to support circadian health and wellbeing, studying the impact of lighting on performance, and evaluating OLED and edge-lit LED lighting panels. 

The LRC has recently expanded its M.S. in Lighting degree program to include a paid career externship at a leading lighting manufacturer, design firm, or government organization. Upon graduation, students now have the opportunity to participate in a paid externship for three months or more with one of many lighting organizations that have agreed to host LRC students, including Current by GE, OSRAM, Philips Lighting, NYSERDA, Bridgelux, Hubbell Lighting, Ketra, Lumileds, USAI Lighting, and several design firms.

Below is a list of awards and recognitions earned by LRC graduate students in 2017.

The Nuckolls Fund Jonas Bellovin Scholar Achievement Award
Rohan Nagare received the Jonas Bellovin Scholar Achievement Award, a $5,000 award for outstanding performance in an established lighting program. The award honors the memory of Jonas Bellovin, the founder of Legion Lighting. The Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education was established in 1988 to support college-level lighting programs that enable students to learn, appreciate, and apply the basics of lighting and design.

IESNYC Scholarship
Evan Wilson received a $12,500 scholarship from the New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society (IESNYC). This merit-based scholarship is open to first-year students currently enrolled in a full-time graduate program as a degree candidate in the field of architectural lighting at an accredited college/university in New York State.

IESNYC Thesis Prize
Valeria Terentyeva received the IESNYC Thesis Prize, which is awarded to a student whose thesis project demonstrates excellence in design and/or research and best represents the intellectual insight, rigor and quality standards as set forth by the respective school department and the student’s thesis committee.  

Howard Brandston Student Lighting Design Education Grant
Adeline Williams and Tyler Arciszewski are the recipients of the 2017 Howard Brandston Student Lighting Design Education Grant. The Grant was established to encourage and recognize students who have demonstrated exceptional professional promise through the presentation of an original and ingenious solution to a supplied design problem. The purpose of the Grant is to foster good lighting and to advance the appreciation of lighting as an art. Recipients will be recognized at the IES Annual Conference.

ARCC Dissertation Award
Indika Perera, Ph.D., received the Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC) 2017 Dissertation Award. The ARCC Dissertation Award is intended to honor significant new research in architecture and environmental design and to recognize the achievement of an emerging scholar. Dr. Perera earned his Ph.D. in architectural sciences with a concentration in lighting from Rensselaer in December 2015. In 2016, he joined the LRC as a research scientist.

ARCC King Student Medal
Ryan Kutler received the ARCC King Student Medal for innovation, integrity, and scholarship in architectural and/or environmental design research. 

Rensselaer SoA Graduate Recognition Award
Valeria Terentyeva received the Rensselaer School of Architecture Graduate Recognition Award for Excellence and Academic Achievement in the Study of Architecture.

For more information on the LRC’s M.S. in Lighting program and externship, visit: 

About the Lighting Research Center
The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is the world's leading center for lighting research and education. Established in 1988 by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the LRC conducts research in light and human health, transportation lighting and safety, solid-state lighting, energy efficiency, and plant health. LRC lighting scientists with multidisciplinary expertise in research, technology, design, and human factors, collaborate with a global network of leading manufacturers and government agencies, developing innovative lighting solutions for projects that range from the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to U.S. Navy submarines to hospital neonatal intensive-care units. In 1990, the LRC became the first university research center to offer graduate degrees in lighting and today, offers a M.S. in lighting and a Ph.D. to educate future leaders in lighting. Learn more at

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.