Michael Deagen has won the prestigious 2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP) award. Deagen, a first year Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) graduate student at RPI, is co-advised by Professors Chaitanya Ullal and Linda Schadler. Under their superivison, he studies advanced optics for multi-color LED systems. Deagen will advance our fundamental understanding of visible light propagation through 3-D mesoscopic periodic structures, while also developing new pathways to efficiently fabricate these advanced structures. The Department of Energy (DoE) estimates that LEDs could save the equivalent annual output of 44 large electric power plants by 2027. Deagen says, “Rensselaer provides a unique environment and synergy between the strengths of RPI's Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center, and the expertise of the Ullal and Schadler groups in MSE.” The NSF fellowship is awarded directly to graduate students selected through an extremely competitive nation-wide competition. The award provides three years of financial support for tuition, stipend, and benefits. NSF awardees represent a diverse group of scientific disciplines and individuals. Among the awardees, over half are women, and one quarter are underrepresented minorities. This year, Deagen is among six recipients of this fellowship at RPI.