UA Student Receives Prestigious George J. Mitchell Scholarship

Sarah E. Johnson

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The U.S.-Ireland Alliance has named University of Alabama student Sarah E. Johnson to the 2014 class of George J. Mitchell Scholars.

In the national competition, 12 students were chosen from some 300 applicants to receive George J. Mitchell Scholarships on the basis of academic distinction, leadership and service.

Johnson, of Mesquite, Texas, is a UA senior majoring in mechanical engineering and history with a minor in Computer-Based Honors. Her research centers on improving the performance of biofuels with a focus on the potential of butanol as a possible alternative fuel source.

George J. Mitchell Scholarship recipients spend a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Johnson, also a Goldwater Scholar, plans to pursue a doctorate degree. She will study advanced mechanical engineering at Queen’s University Belfast.

As a Hollings Scholar and intern at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Johnson performed structural design analysis for external instrumentation mounts on aircraft, and she has also interned at the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, where she worked on systems integration engineering.

Johnson has worked to interest more students, particularly young girls, in careers in engineering.  She serves as president of the world’s third-largest student section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, has held several positions with the Society of Women Engineers, and played an active role in the UA NASA United Student Launch Initiative.


Kristi Payne or Linda Hill, UA Media Relations, 205/348-8325,


Dr. Gary Sloan, UA Prestige Scholarships and Awards,, 205/348-8444, Sarah E. Johnson,