Hertz Foundation

Hertz Foundation

Fannie and John Hertz Foundation
Founded 1957
Founder Fannie and John Hertz
Focus Applied Science and Engineering
Area served
United States
Method Ph.D. Fellowships
Key people
Robbee Baker Kosak, President
David J. Galas, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board
Thomas Weaver, Ph.D., Senior Fellowship Interviewer
Website http://www.hertzfoundation.org

The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation is an fellowships to Ph.D. students in the applied physical, biological and engineering sciences. It is considered to be the most competitive and prestigious graduate fellowship in science and engineering. The fellowship provides $250,000 of support over five years. The goal is for Fellows to be financially independent and free from traditional restrictions of their academic departments in order to promote innovation in collaboration with leading professors in the field. Through a rigorous application and interview process, the Hertz Foundation seeks to identify young scientists and engineers with the potential to change the world for the better and supports their research endeavors from an early stage. Fellowship recipients pledge to make their skills available to the United States in times of national emergency.


The Hertz Foundation was established in 1957 with the goal of supporting applied sciences education. The founder, John D. Hertz, was a European emigrant whose family arrived in the United States with few resources, when the boy was five years old. Hertz matured into a prominent entrepreneur and business leader as the automotive age burgeoned in Chicago. Initially, the Foundation granted undergraduate scholarships to qualified and financially limited mechanical and electrical engineering students. In 1963, the undergraduate scholarship program was phased out and replaced with postgraduate fellowships leading to the award of the Ph.D. The scope of the studies supported by Fellowships was also enlarged to include applied sciences and engineering. Recipients of the Hertz Fellowship typically attend competitive graduate schools such as Stanford, Harvard, MIT, Caltech, Princeton University, and UC Berkeley. In 2008, 16 Fellows were named with fellowships of approximately $250,000 apiece from over 600 applicants.


For the 2015-2016 academic year, over 800 applied for 10 to 15 spots, giving it an acceptance rate that is less than half that of top undergraduate institutions.

Eligibility and application

To be eligible for a Hertz Fellowships, a student must be citizen or permanent resident of the United States of America. Eligible applicants must be students of the applied sciences or engineering and desire to pursue a Ph.D. degree in the applied sciences or engineering. College seniors as well as graduate students already pursuing a Ph.D. may apply.

The application period opens on 1 September, when electronic applications are made available by the Hertz Foundation. All Fellowship applicants are notified by mail of the Foundation's action on their application on or before 1 April.

Notable Hertz Fellows

In 2007, three of MIT Technology Review's TR35 young innovators were Hertz Fellows, with two more in 2009 and another in 2010.

Thesis Prize Winners

The Hertz Foundation requires that each Fellow furnish the Foundation a copy of his or her doctoral dissertation upon receiving the Ph.D. The Foundation's Thesis Prize Committee examines the Ph.D. dissertations for their overall excellence and pertinence to high-impact applications of the physical sciences. Each Thesis Prize winner receives an honorarium of at least $1000. In addition, two faculty members who profoundly influenced the winner (as designated by the Thesis Winners) also receive honoraria.

  • 2011
  • 2010 Erez Lieberman-Aiden, Evolution and the Emergence of Structure
  • 2009 Paul Podsiadlo, Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Nanostructures Composites: Mechanics and Applications
  • 2009 Mikhail Shapiro, Genetically Engineered Sensors for Non-Invasive Molecular Imaging using MRI
  • 2008 Alexander Wissner-Gross, Physically Programmable Surfaces
  • 2007 Lilian Childress, Coherent Manipulation of Single Quantum Systems in the Solid State
  • 2007 Christopher Loose, The Production, Design, and Application of Antimicrobial Peptides
  • 2007 Cindy Regal, Experimental Realization of BCS-BEC Crossover Physics with a Fermi Gas of Atoms
  • 2006 Ed Boyden, Task-Selective Neural Mechanisms of Memory Encoding
  • 2005 Cameron G. R. Geddes, Plasma Channel Guided Laser Wakefield Accelerator
  • 2004 Youssef Marzouk, Vorticity Structure and Evolution in a Transverse Jet with New Algorithms for Scalable Particle Simulation
  • 2003 David Kent IV, New Quantum Monte Carlo Algorithms to Efficiently Utilize Massively Parallel Computers
  • 2002 Daniel Steck, Quantum Chaos, Transport, and Decoherence in Atom Optics
  • 2001 Krishna S. Nayak, Fast Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • 2000 Joseph H. Thywissen, Internal State Manipulation for Neutral Atom Lithography
  • 1999 Andrew J. Thiel Detection of DNA Hybridization to Oligonucleotide Arrays on Gold Surfaces Using In Situ Surface Plasmon Resonance and Fluorescence Imaging Techniques
  • 1998 Adam T. Woolley, Microfabricated Integrated DNA Analysis Systems
  • 1997 Deirdre Olynick, In-Situ Studies of Copper Nano-Particles Using a Novel Tandem Ultra-High Vacuum Particle Production Chamber Transmission Electron Microscope
  • 1997 Eli N. Glezer, Ultrafast Electronic and Structural Dynamics in Solids
  • 1996 Andrew H. Miklich, Low-Frequency Noise in High-T2 Superconductor Josephson Junctions, SQUIDs, and Magnetometers
  • 1996 Krishna Shenoy, Monolithic Optoelectronic VLSI Circuit Design and Fabrication for Optical Interconnects
  • 1995 Eric Altschuler, The Movement Rehearsal Paradigm is a Mental Communication Channel
  • 1994 Richard D. Braatz, Robust Loopshaping for Process Control
  • 1992 Kenneth L. Shepard, Electron Transport in Mesoscopic Conductors
  • 1992 Robert C. Barrett, Development and Applications of Atomic Force Spectroscopy
  • 1990 Scott L. Rakestraw, Monoclonal Antibody-Targeted Laser Photolysis of Tumor Tissue
  • 1990 H. Paul Shuch, Near Midair Collisions as an Indicator of General Aviation Collision Risk
  • 1989 W. Neil McCasland, Sensor and Actuator Selection for Fault-Tolerant Control of Flexible Structures
  • 1988 Michael Reed, Si-SiO2 Interface Trap Anneal Kinetics
  • 1988 Eric Swartz, Solid-Solid Thermal Boundary Resistance
  • 1988 K. Peter Beiersdorfer, High Resolution Studies of the X-Ray Transitions in Highly Charged Neonlike Ions of the PLT Tokamak
  • 1987 Douglas Bowman, High Speed Polycrystalline Silicon Photoconductors for On-Chip Pulsing and Gating
  • 1987 Brian L. Heffner, Switchable Optical Fiber Taps Using the Acousto-Optic Bragg Interaction
  • 1987 Dale Stuart, A Guidance Algorithm for Cooperative Tether-Mediated Orbital Rendezvous
  • 1987 Aryeh M. Weiss, Real Time Control of the Permeability of Crosslinked Polyelectrolyte Membranes to Fluorescent Solutes
  • 1986 Lawrence C. West, Spectroscopy of GaAs Quantum Wells
  • 1986 Joel Fajans, Radiation Measurements of an Intermediate Energy Free Electron Laser
  • 1985 W. Daniel Hillis, The Connection Machine
  • 1985 Stephen P. Boyd, Volterra Series: Engineering Fundamentals
  • 1985 Steven R. Hall, A Failure Detection Algorithm for Linear Dynamic Systems
  • 1984 Andrew M. Weiner, Femtosecond Optical Pulse Generation and Dephasing Measurements in Condensed Matter
  • 1984 David Tuckerman, Heat-Transfer Microstructures for Integrated Circuits
  • 1984 Michel A. Floyd, Single-Step Optimal Control of Large Space Structures
  • 1983 Emanuel M. Sachs,Edge Stabilized Ribbon Growth: A New Method for the Manufacture of Photovoltaic Substrates
  • 1982 Mike Farmwald, On the Design of High Performance Digital Arithmetic Units
  • 1982 Lawrence C. Widdoes, Automatic Physical Design of Large Wire-Wrap Digital Systems
  • 1981 Sherman Chan, Small Signal Control of Multiterminal DC/AC Power Systems
  • 1981 Peter L. Hagelstein, Physics of Short Wavelength Laser Design
  • 1981 Charles E. Leiserson, Area-Efficient VLSI Computation
  • 1981 Thomas McWilliams, Verification of Timing Constraints on Large Digital Systems


  1. ^ http://www.uky.edu/President/curriculum_vitae.htm

External links

  • Hertz Foundation