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New Endowed Scholarship Will Aid Engineering Students

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hardik ShahHardik Shah was passionate about learning, and he pursued his education with a great deal of vigor. His love of life, his family and his work were equally vigorous, and when he died in 2011 at age 31, his wife, Pooja Shah, wanted to make sure his passion lived on.

The Hardik Shah Endowed Scholarship was established in August 2012 to provide scholarship awards to undergraduate engineering students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and who demonstrate financial need.

“Whether it is socializing, family time, sports, or other activities, Hardik always liked being part of everything. His short but immensely meaningful life is an example for many generations of human beings. His enthusiasm about education, life and work ethic was an inspiration for family and friends,” Pooja Shah said.

Hardik was hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with Pooja and some friends in October 2011, when he slipped on wet rocks, fell into a fast-moving stream and drowned. 

After earning his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in India, Hardik came to UT Arlington to pursue a master of science degree in biomedical engineering, which he completed in 2003. After graduation, he worked for Quest Medical, Inc., in Allen, Texas. In 2005, he moved to Largo, Fla., to work with Baxter and later worked for GE Healthcare in Lawrence, Mass. In 2010, GE Healthcare closed their Lawrence office and Hardik began working at Smiths Medical Group in Keene, N.H.

Pooja remembers Hardik as an excellent, dedicated student who was driven to succeed. His desire for education continued throughout his life.

“I strongly believe that a sustainable education is like a load bearing wall in a building. Without it, one cannot stay upright on their feet,” Pooja explained. “Getting my Electrical Engineering degree was hard, but the rewards are immeasurable. With my degree, I was able to get an internship, and then a full-time job right out of college. Then, my employer paid for a valuable Master's Degree in electrical engineering and again it was hard work, especially while working full time." 

She continued, “My engineering degree has taught me to multi task and work in a team environment while at the same time feeling a sense of self-accomplishment. I enjoy the love and respect of my colleagues and friends as an engineer and wouldn't trade this job for anything.  With rapid technological advances, it has become crucial that we produce skilled professionals in engineering field, which is why I chose to remember Hardik with an endowed scholarship at UT Arlington.”