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Merewether receives Luce Scholarship to explore rescue tech in Asia

Last year, while working as an EMT with the Princeton First Aid and Rescue Squad, Princeton senior Gene Merewether was among a group that responded to calls that a man was struggling in the waters of Lake Carnegie. With rescue boats and dive teams, the first responders scoured the murky lake to no avail before finally calling off the search after sundown. No man was ever found.

"As I stood on the bridge that evening, watching the dive team search the lake, it was clear that technology offers a better solution," said Merewether, a chemistry major in the lab of Jeffrey Schwartz, who is pursing a certificate in applications of computing.

With an eye for developing better technology-based rescue strategies, Merewether applied for and recently won a 2013 Luce Scholarship that will allow him to spend the next year in Asia (his top choices are South Korea or Hong Kong) studying the use of robots and electronic communication in monitoring and responding to disasters. Administered by the Henry Luce Foundation since 1974, the scholarships aim to foster understanding and cooperation between the next generation of American leaders and their Asian counterparts. Merewether was among 18 students (from 168 nominees) selected for the 2013-14 class of scholars. Read the full story...