Florida Poly’s noteworthy Fulbright cohort geared up to make a difference

May 29, 2024
2024-2025 Fulbright Cohort

Florida Polytechnic University has finalized its Fulbright cohort for the 2024-2025 academic year. Clockwise from top left, they are Dr. Jalal Ahamed, associate professor at the University of Windsor in Canada; Dr. Antonio Soria Verdugo, associate professor at the University Carlos III of Madrid in Spain; Tobias Syring, a graduate student from Berlin, Germany; Dr. Rahul Razdan, senior director of special projects at Florida Poly; and Dr. Randy K. Avent, Florida Poly’s president.

In a prestigious international exchange of research, ideas, and culture, Florida Polytechnic University is again expecting robust participation in the U.S Fulbright Program for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Fulbright Scholars are professionals like college or university faculty members, administrators, artists, and others who travel to other countries to reach, lecture, research, and exchange ideas. This year, Florida Poly will host two scholars and will see two leaders participate in the program in other countries.

Arriving at Florida Poly are Dr. Antonio Soria Verdugo from the University Carlos III of Madrid in Spain, and Dr. Jalal Ahmad from the University of Windsor in Canada. 

“My collaboration with Dr. Gerardo Carbajal at Florida Poly will allow us to combine our findings and knowledge on fundamental heat transfer and previous experience in a challenging application such as refrigeration of batteries of electric vehicles,” said Verdugo, an associate professor in Carlos III’s Department of Thermal Engineering and Fluid Mechanics. 

Meanwhile, Jalal will be working with Dr. Chris Kelley, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Florida Poly.

“I am honored to work with Dr. Kelley as part of my Fulbright Research Chair assignment,” said Jalal, an associate professor at the University of Windsor’s Department of Mechanical, Automotive and Materials Engineering. “This is a crucial opportunity to us for harnessing our collective expertise in mechatronics and controls toward advancing smart wearables in Parkinson’s care.” 

Rounding out the cohort of senior scholars are Dr. Randy Avent, Florida Poly’s president, and Dr. Rahul Razdan, senior director of special projects at the University.

Avent was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Schuman Innovation Award. He will step down as president on July 7 and begin his Fulbright-funded research endeavor at the University of Barcelona this fall. 

Razdan, a recognized worldwide expert in autonomous vehicle technology, received the John Von Neumann Distinguished Scholar Award, the most prestigious scholar award given by Fulbright Commission. He will spend four months in Hungary hosted by Szechenyi Istvan University on a project connecting the ZalaZONE and SunTrax facilities.

Florida Poly also will host a Fulbright Fellow this academic year. Tobias Syring, a graduate student from Berlin, Germany, will study engineering management at the institution. 

“I always believed that education is the key to unlocking my full potential” Syring said. “I am thrilled to be living that journey with my classmates and professors at Florida Poly while we are forging a path of learning together and appreciate the beauty of diversity.” 

Since launching its program in 2018, Florida Poly has facilitated the academic and research work of 33 Fulbright awardees in all categories.

“As we are celebrating the first decade of the University’s existence, Florida Poly is attracting world-class talents who are shaping the next narrative of science, technology, and innovation in the service of humanity,” said Mustapha Achoubane, the University’s senior advisor for international relations.


Lydia Guzmán
Director of Communications