Montana State University

Billings student wins engineering award

May 11, 2006 -- MSU News Service

Electrical engineering student Nathan Greenfield accepts the 2006 William E. Parkins Engineering-Physics Award from MSU President Geoffrey Gamble. Photo by Stephen Hunts.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
Bozeman -- Nathan Greenfield of Billings is the 2006 recipient of the William E. Parkins Engineering-Physics Award at Montana State University. The award honors the MSU student with the top grade point average in engineering, math and physics courses.

Greenfield, a senior in electrical engineering, will receive a $2,500 tuition credit. He plans to graduate in May 2007.

Greenfield attended Billings Senior High School and is the son of John and Mary Jo Greenfield. Since his sophomore year, Greenfield has worked on communication, power and ground station systems for the Electra satellite in the Space Science and Engineering Laboratory at MSU. The satellite's launch is expected sometime in the next two years. Additionally, Greenfield's senior design project involves creating a sensor network to monitor health and power levels throughout Electra.

He plans to attend graduate school to possibly study meta-materials or electromagnetics after MSU.

William E. Parkins, a 1937 electrical engineering graduate of what was then Montana State College, established the award. After obtaining advanced degrees at Cornell, Parkins worked at the University of California, Berkeley during WWII. He helped develop the electromagnetic process used for the separation of uranium-235 isotopes for the atomic bomb. Later, Parkins became the director of research at Rockwell International.

Parkins saw a need for engineers to have a better understanding of underlying physical principles and for physicists to acquire the practical perspective required of engineers. His award at MSU is meant to encourage MSU students to study across disciplines. Parkins died Sept. 30, 2005, at his home in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 89.

Contact: Nathan Greenfield, (406) 599-1829 or