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USNA News Center


  POSTED ON: Friday, February 15, 2019 3:17 PM by Maddie Darbie

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – U.S. Naval Academy Midshipman 1st Class (senior) Thomas Imhoff, 21, of Twinsburg, O.H., was recently selected as a 2019 Gates Cambridge Scholar.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship program was established in 2000 and funded by a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It enables academically outstanding students from outside the United Kingdom with a strong interest in social leadership and responsibility to pursue graduate study at Cambridge. Thirty-four U.S. students were awarded the Gates Cambridge Scholarship this year.

Imhoff is a mechanical engineering major at the Naval Academy and will pursue a Master of Philosophy in Engineering with the Advanced Structures Group under Dr. Keith Seffen. Imhoff conducted undergraduate research as a Trident Scholar, investigating the use of gridshell structures as shelters for areas in need of humanitarian aid and disaster relief. He realized a passion for gridshell structures, and took a particular interest in their engineering attributes and aesthetics. Imhoff intends to research the impact on structural performance of non-ideal support conditions due to ground settlement and scour, as well as the structure’s resistance to dynamic loads such as winds and earthquakes. He hopes his research will help establish practical design methods and assist the United States Navy in worldwide disaster relief efforts. Upon completion of the program, Imhoff will enter the fleet as a Surface Warfare Officer.

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service.  More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Reports has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top-25 best liberal arts college.  Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects such as leadership, ethics, small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, and military law.  Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 25 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

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For more information about Gates Scholars, visit the Gates Cambridge Scholarship website:



Category: People