2010-11 Notebaert Fellows


John D’Antonio, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

Undergraduate Institution:
Cornell University (2005)
Work in Industry:
Powerplant Engineer, Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory (2005–07);
Propulsion Engineer, Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (2007–10)

The motivation of John D’Antonio to pursue graduate study is his strong desire to play a leading role in aviation safety. In his prior industry experience, John studied the effects of ice on airplane engine response. At Notre Dame, John studies aircraft propulsion performance and safety under Profs. Scott Morris and Joshua Cameron. John’s work at Notre Dame focuses on responding to industry needs for testing advanced compressor concepts, accurately modeling the associated fluid dynamics, and gaining insight into the fundamental physics of compressor stability. He recently commissioned a $1 million front-stage core compressor facility and completed initial tests whose results have directly impacted a next-generation civil engine design. John was drawn to Notre Dame by its one-of-a-kind facilities, including the Institute for Flow Physics and Control, as well as a personal desire to research and study at a Catholic institution.


Aaron Donahue, Civil Engineering

Undergraduate Institution:
Sonoma State University (2007)
Graduate Training:
San Diego State University (M.S. in Applied Mathematics 2010)

Aaron Donahue came to the University of Notre Dame to join the Environmental Fluid Dynamics (EFD) group in the Department of Civil Engineering and Geosciences. The group collaborates with a number of different departments to cover a wide range of topics, including atmospheric turbulence, hydrologic processes, tides, hurricane storm surge, tsunamis and wave-flow-structure interactions.

“I was impressed by the wide range of specialties and skills we have in the EFD group. The collaboration between different aspects of engineering and science has framed the work I do in the context of global, multi-disciplinary problems.”

Advised by Profs. Joannes Westerink and Andrew Kennedy, Aaron is interested in the development of an accurate near-shore wave model that can be used to predict the extent and power of both waves from tsunamis and waves induced by such major storm events as hurricanes. This model can be used in the design and development of infrastructure and disaster plans in rapidly expanding coastal communities.

Aaron was awarded the Dondanville Family Award in Civil Engineering in 2012.


Bry Martin, History

Undergraduate Institution:
Stanford University (2003)
Graduate Training:
Stanford University (M.A. in History 2003);
Harvard Law School (J.D. 2007);
Goethe-Institut, Freiburg; Centre International d’Etudes de Langues de Strasbourg

Bry Martin, a Notebaert Fellow earning his doctorate in history, left the practice of law to return to academia and study intellectual history at Notre Dame in a department featuring such notable scholars as Profs. Brad Gregory, Sabine MacCormack, and Felipe Fernández-Armesto. He says that he finds the department’s scholarship and teaching of history to be “inspiring” — particularly in the faculty’s “sympathy for the past, the breadth of interest that leaps beyond narrow specialization, and the sensitivity to the way people negotiated their way through a world of ideas.”

Advised by Prof. Gregory, Bry is interested in the ways the seventeenth century’s intractable religious and political conflicts, powerful credit and slave markets, legal theories of evidence, and study of the natural world cultivated the humane, relativistic, hedonistic, sentimental, and introspective beliefs associated with the Enlightenment.

Bry was awarded an Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award in 2012.


Paul Scherz, Theology

Undergraduate Institution:
University of California, Berkeley (2001)
Graduate Training:
Harvard University (Ph.D. in Genetics 2005);
University of California, San Francisco (Postdoctoral Fellowship);
University of Notre Dame (M.T.S. 2010)

Fascinated by the ethical issues that arose during his research career in developmental biology, Paul Scherz, a Notebaert Fellow, decided to pursue a doctorate in moral theology. Advised by Prof. Gerald McKenny, Paul is studying the Catholic tradition’s resources for thinking about moral issues that arise in relation to technological advances, focusing on new biological technologies, and especially how these technologies shape us as moral subjects. Paul chose to pursue his studies at Notre Dame because of the incredible breadth and depth of the Department of Theology, as well as the many other resources that are available at Notre Dame for studying the interaction of science and religion, such as the History and Philosophy of Science program. Paul has published 11 peer-reviewed works in biology and received a Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship for his work in genetics.