Professor Recognized for Support of Student in Military

Professor Recognized for Support of Student in Military

Tuesday, March 11, 2014
UNH mechanical engineering professor Martin Wosnik

Mechanical engineering professor Martin Wosnik (right) was honored with a Patriotic Employer Award from the New Hampshire Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (NHESGR) Committee for his support of Matthew Rowell ’13G (left), who served in the Navy Reserve while doing graduate work with Wosnik.

Credit: Mike Ross, UNH Photographic Services.

Mechanical engineering professor Martin Wosnik received a Patriotic Employer Award from the New Hampshire Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (NHESGR) Committee. The honor recognizes Wosnik’s support of his graduate student, U.S. Navy Lt. Commander Matthew Rowell ‘13G, in balancing his Navy Reserve duties with his UNH research.

In an award ceremony last week at UNH, Rowell described the myriad ways Wosnik supported his Navy Reserve duties during his two-and-a-half year master’s degree. When his first two-week training took him to Japan in the middle of an important stage in his research, “Martin stepped up as a supportive employer,” Rowell said.

Rowell’s research was a key component of a complex, Department of Energy-funded tidal energy project that involved multiple partners and stakeholders; he approached Wosnik about his Reserve duties with concern that his advisor would be resistant to the interruption. But Wosnik “was very reassuring,” Rowell recalled, supporting not just Rowell but his family.

Serving in the Reserve or National Guard “is a balancing act,” said Bob Elliott, retired Army Chief Warrant Officer and a volunteer with NHESGR, at the ceremony. “The employer makes a big difference.”

Wosnik, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering and associate director of the Center for Ocean Renewable Energy at UNH, said that Rowell’s military experience made a big difference to the research, as well. “We could not have done this project to the extent we did without his Navy expertise,” Wosnik said, adding that the project produced two journal papers.

Indeed, although Rowell finished his master’s degree and graduated in May 2013, he’s continued to work as a research engineer with CORE.

Read about the tidal energy project Rowell worked on with Wosnik here: http://unhmagazine.unh.edu/f12/unh-renewable-energy.html. Learn about the Center for Ocean Renewable Energy at UNH here: http://www.unh.edu/core/.

The NHESGR is dedicated to providing information and education to the business community on the rights and responsibilities of Guard or Reserve members who may be in their employ. In addition, NH ESGR recognizes employers who have gone above and beyond in supporting their Guard or Reserve employees, through various awards and other types of recognition.

Read about the tidal energy project Rowell worked on with Wosnik here. Learn about the Center for Ocean Renewable Energy at UNH here