Scholarship Impact: Zaynab Salehpour


Zaynab Salehpour is a recipient of the 2016-2017 Kirkwood Scholarship for Women in Engineering. A senior in mechanical engineering from Houston, Texas, Zaynab plans to pursue a master’s degree in bioinstrumentation after graduating this May. For now, she is concentrating on her research in “coral reef restoration that lies at the intersection of my major in mechanical engineering and my minor in bioengineering.”

Zaynab is involved in a number of campus organizations, including the MechSE Advancement Student Committee (MASC), where she serves as the senior representative of the alumni subcommittee. In this role, Zaynab works to build a closer community between students and alumni.

In her free time, Zaynab enjoys cooking. “I get a lot of inspiration from my Middle Eastern roots and enjoy experimenting with different recipes—plus there’s nothing better for a college student than to learn to cook in bulk!”

She also enjoys reading, knitting, building computers, and playing with her newly adopted baby parrot. “Coming home to a happy ball of energy and feathers to play with is a highlight of my day,” she said.

“This scholarship gives me the ability to pursue the major of my dreams in the fields of mechanical engineering and bioengineering. Not only can I continue my excellent education at U of I, but I can also continue to work with esteemed professors in their areas of research. This scholarship means that I do not have to worry about my ability to finish my degree, and focus all of my energy directly into my studies.”

Making a difference

  • Member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Member of the Society of Women Engineers
  • Member of Mechanical Science and Engineering Advancement Student Committee
  • Vice President and Social Chair of Phi Sigma Rho Engineering Sorority