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24 students selected for the 2024-2025 Valle Scholarship Program

By Julia Davis
June 6, 2024

Students will conduct research abroad and gain international field experience.

A view of Trondheim, Norway, which is home to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, where many Valle Scholars past and present have chosen to study.

A view of Trondheim, Norway, which is home to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, where many Valle Scholars past and present have chosen to study.

Beginning this fall, a group of CEE graduate students will embark on a year of research abroad as they participate in the Valle Scholarship and Scandinavian Exchange Program. This unique program supports the exchange of graduate students between the UW and institutions in Nordic countries, providing fully funded opportunities for students to gain international perspectives and experience in their fields.

This year’s cohort includes 12 students from CEE and six students from the College of Built Environments (CBE) who will be going abroad for the year. Additionally, CEE will welcome one Valle Scholar from Norway, and CBE will welcome five Valle Scholars from Scandinavia. The program, endowed by Norwegian immigrants Henrik Valle and Ellen Stray, has awarded over 850 scholarships since its inception in 1980.

Bryan Crockett, CEE’s Valle Program Adviser, works with students on their applications and has seen the various research directions they can take.

“Students applying for this program come from a wide range of research areas, and the broad application guidelines allow them to craft unique proposals tailored to their specific interests,” he says. “No two proposals are the same, so what an architecture student might include in their application is going to be vastly different from what a structural engineer would include.”

Among this year's scholars is Meg Hinaus, a second-year graduate student in structural engineering who will be studying composites at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

"I'm really excited to bridge connections and network internationally," she says. "NTNU has a strong program for high-impact testing, and I’m looking forward to gaining a different international lens on research."

Morgan Sanger, a geotechnical engineering student in the second year of her Ph.D., cited the Valle Scholarship program as one of the things that drew her to the UW. She says she has been working towards being a Valle Scholar since she started her Ph.D.

“The opportunity to experience research in another place with different institutions and ideas was a major factor in my decision to apply for the scholarship," she says. "I couldn't be more excited to go."

Along with providing academic and research opportunities, the program allows students to experience a completely different culture and grow their professional network on a global scale. Students like Hinaus and Sanger, who missed out on previous opportunities to go abroad due to the COVID-19 pandemic, find the Valle Scholarship an exciting chance to explore new environments and further their academic careers.

This year's cohort, which includes projects in hydrology, geotechnical engineering, transportation and structural engineering, reflects the program's diversity and participants' varied interests.

2024-2025 Valle Scholars

CEE students going abroad

  • Hannah Besso – University of Oslo (UiO), Norway
  • Emma Boudreau – Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Norway
  • Zachary Flinkstrom – University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Meg Hinaus – Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
  • Eryn Lum – SINTEF, Norway
  • Mohammad Mehdi Oshanreh – Denmark Technical University (DTU), Denmark
  • Brian Miller – KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • Ross Mower – University of Oslo, Norway
  • Kaitlyn Ng – KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • EJ Rainville – Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Norway
  • Morgan Sanger – Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), Norway
  • Eli Schwat – University of Bergen (UiB), Norway
  • Ekin Ugurel – Denmark Technical University (DTU), Denmark

Students coming to CEE

  • Fredrik Holen – OsloMet: Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

CBE students going abroad

  • Ellie Anderson – The Nursing Home Agency, Municipality of Oslo, Norway
  • Kierra Eason – Estonian University of Life Sciences, Estonia
  • Evelyn Newman – Malmö University, Sweden
  • Salman Rashdi – City of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Shann Thomas – UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway
  • Jolin Tran – University of Oslo, Norway

Students coming to CBE

  • Toomaj Ghalandar Zehi Jalalabad – Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway
  • Riku Kiltilä – Aalto University, Finland
  • Solveig Klaas – KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden
  • Olle Palm – Lund University, Sweden
  • Xinyue Wang – Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden