Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Craig Western is currently a senior at the University of Southern California. Craig was one of 141 students across the United States to be honored as a 2007 Presidential Scholar before beginning his engineering degree in Los Angeles. A student of business and Chinese, he hopes to pursue graduate studies and ultimately integrate his interests by advancing international collaboration and pursuing leadership in the tech sector – particularly within aerospace and defense. Craig has worked on two major NASA projects through a position with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory: he was responsible for designing and constructing a robotic platform to support a 1200-pound lunar lander model for the MoonRise mission to the lunar surface, and he also developed and built an electrical connector to dock together the wiring systems of two lunar rovers. As a member of USC’s Teamcore research group, Craig contributed to the development of software designed to optimize placement of security forces; the software is currently operating at the Los Angeles International Airport. Craig also held a marketing internship in Taipei for the electronics manufacturer Tatung. In school, Craig volunteers as Project Manager for a 20-person engineering team working to bring fresh water to a small village in Honduras; he has led two groups to the site. He is currently involved with the i-Podium Program, an effort to promote technical innovation among USC and top schools in Beijing and Taiwan. In his free time, Craig enjoys running, hiking, wakeboarding, traveling, and exploring the neighborhoods of LA.
2011-2012 Luce Scholar