Victoria Solomon ’13 has been named a 2013 Marshall Scholar, the second Princeton student this academic year to be awarded the scholarship after Jake Nebel ’13. Solomon is majoring in electrical engineering and will use the scholarship to complete a masters in medical electronics and physics at a British university. Solomon said she is still in the process of applying to and hearing back from London universities.
The Marshall Scholarship funds students each year to study at a graduate level for up to two years at any institution in the United Kingdom. Around 1,000 students are endorsed by their universities, around 150 students are interviewed and up to 40 are selected, according to the scholarship website.
Solomon was at home for Passover when she found out that she had received the scholarship. “I was completely shocked,” she said. “I called my parents and I told them and the next thing I did was I called my fiance.”
Solomon plans to pursue a career in designing medical technology for people with disabilities. “Basically, my goal is to be designing and developing these devices that can change people’s lives. I want to do that in any way I can,” she said, adding that she also hopes to work with non-profit organizations to make such devices accessible.
“She’s brilliant, so I’m not surprised she got it,” Atara Cohen ’15, a close friend of Solomon, said. “When I spoke to her about what she wants to do, even before this, she was speaking about how she really wants to be an engineer so she can use engineering to help other people. I think that this really helps her do that.”
Solomon said she was inspired to study the field of medical technology in high school. She attended the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Sciences summer program, in which she worked on an electrical engineering project and became convinced to pursue further studies in electrical engineering. “It completely changed my life path,” Solomon said.
At Princeton, Solomon has been able to further pursue her interests in the field. “One thing that’s been pretty awesome is that for a lot of my electrical engineering classes that aren’t exactly related to the topic of biomedical or assisted technology, a lot of my professors have let me roll my projects toward my interests in biomedical technology,” Solomon said.
For her junior year independent work, she developed an Android application that would send signals between health monitoring devices that patients could wear and computers or smartphones. For her senior year independent work, Solomon is working on developing a “portable and affordable communication device for patients” with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), in collaboration with the Technology Against ALS Foundation. “My motivation behind that is that there are a lot of amazing technologies that help patients with ALS to communicate, but one problem is that sometimes these communication devices can be rather bulky and they are extremely expensive,” Solomon explained.
“I’m extremely proud on one hand. On the other hand, I think she’s very, very deserving so I’m not surprised,” electrical engineering professor Naveen Verma said. “On the other hand, I’m also very excited to see what kind of progress and research she’s going to do in the future.”
Outside the classroom, Solomon is an Orange Key tour guide and a mentor for the Society of Women Engineers. She is also active in the Center for Jewish Life. In addition, Solomon is part of a philanthropy fellowship in which she researches charities and donates $5,000 plus additional money from fundraising to a designated charity.
Solomon said that she thought the United Kingdom would be an ideal place to continue her studies in biomedical technology and electronics.
“To me it was really important to be in a country that had this culture that really shows support and care for people’s health,” Solomon explained. “One thing that I don’t really know as much about is how Britain’s national health care interacts with medical device design so I thought that would be something really interesting to experience and study in the UK.”