Jonathan Naber of Waterloo has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship. Each year, about 40 students from the United States are selected as Marshall Scholars for postgraduate study at a university in the United Kingdom.
The son of Tom and Connie Naber, Jonathan is a 2007 graduate of Waterloo High School.
Naber graduated from the University of Illinois in May 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering.
While at Illinois, Naber conceived of providing prosthetic arms for amputees who could not afford expensive devices. He experimented and created prototypes, gathered and managed a team, and, after establishing a nonprofit organization, raised more than $140,000 in start-up funds. The result, Illini Prosthetic Technologies, provides artificial limbs to amputees in the developing world.
Naber is working in Guatemala to further develop and test IPT’s prosthetic limbs, and is creating connections to produce the prostheses in Guatemala using locally available products.
Through the Marshall Scholarship, Naber plans to earn a master’s degree in public health in developing countries at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a second master’s in development management at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
After his studies in England, Naber envisions forming a new team and addressing some systemic failings in how amputees are cared for, as well as working to prevent future amputations.
Naber has won numerous awards through the College of Engineering, as well as the Lemelson-MIT Illinois student prize for being the most inventive student at Illinois. Naber was the first undergraduate to receive this award.
He received the nationally competitive Simon Fellowship for Noble Purposes in 2011, and earned a Whitaker International Fellow Grant to fund his current bioengineering research in Guatemala.
He has donated more than $40,000 in prize money to IPT.
“Jonathan is that special person who transformed the university in his time on our Urbana-Champaign campus,” said Bob Easter, president of the university. “His passion, commitment and creativity have raised the bar of excellence in our world-class College of Engineering.”
Named for U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the Marshall Scholarship Program began in 1953 as a gesture of gratitude to the people of the U.S. for the assistance the United Kingdom received after World War II under the Marshall Plan. Since its inception, prominent alumni of the scholarship include Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer; Peter Orszag, Former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget; U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns; 2008 Nobel Prize-winning chemist Roger Tsien; and Ray Dolby, inventor of the Dolby sound system.
To read a previous article about Naber’s work in Guatemala, click here.