Link Foundation Fellowships Newsletter

Inside this Issue


Meet this Year's Fellowship Recipients




Edwin A. Link was posthumously inducted into the National Center for Simulation’s Hall of Fame in Orlando, Florida, on March 26, 2014

From left to right:  Bob Edwards (L-3 Link, Orlando), Dr. Donna Wilt (Associate Professor, College of Aeronautics at Florida Institute of Technology, Special Advisor to the Link Foundation, and Link Advanced Simulation and Training Ph.D. Fellowship Program Administrator), Dr. Speros Link Margetis (Professor of Finance, University of Tampa, and Edwin A. Link’s Godson), Ms. Marilyn C. Link (sister to Edwin A. Link and former Trustee and current Special Advisor to the Link Foundation), Karen Thaldorf (L-3 Link, Orlando), and Gary Coleman (L-3 Link, Arlington).  Not shown:  Mr. Dennis Wilt and Mr. William D. Turner

On March 26, 2014, Edwin A. Link was posthumously inducted into the National Center for Simulation’s Hall of Fame in Orlando, Florida, in recognition of his major inventions and contributions made to military and commercial aviation training employing synthetic training devices.  Thomas Baptiste, Lt. General, USAF (retired), President and Executive Director of the National Center for Simulation stated, “The invention of the Link Trainer to assist our nation’s military readiness deserves recognition, and no one person is more deserving of this honor.  The Board of Directors of the National Center for Simulation unanimous selected Edwin A. Link to receive this award based on his accomplishments and that he is widely accepted as the father of modern simulation technology.”

Ms. Marilyn C. Link, Dr. Donna Wilt, Mr. Dennis Wilt, Dr. Speros Link Margetis, and Mr. William D. Turner (former Link Foundation Trustee and Special Advisor) were at the induction ceremony as representatives of the Link “family.” 

Mr. Gary Coleman, Vice President of Army Programs at Link Simulation and Training Division of L-3 Communications, Arlington, TX, accepted the award on Edwin A. Link’s behalf.  “We strive to embody the heritage that he left us:  a pioneering spirit, a quest for technical innovation, a determination to succeed, and a passion for making aviation a safer human endeavor,” said Mr. Coleman in his remarks.  “I believe he would be justifiably proud of the company that bears his name as well as the industry he helped to create.”

The plaque of Edwin A. Link (above), is permanently on display at the in the Modeling and Simulation Center of Excellence area of the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL.

The Link Foundation Board is delighted to see Edwin A. Link, and his work, honored in this way.



2013 Link Energy Resources Development and Conservation
Fellow’s work published in Science

The Link Foundation Board congratulates Dr. Letian Dou, 2013 Link Energy Resources Development and Conservation Fellow on his work, which had been supported through his Link Fellowship, and which was published in Science, Vol. 343, January 17, 2014.  This highly prestigious journal is an internationally known publication to which prominent researchers turn in order to share groundbreaking research.

At the time of Dr. Dou’s Link Fellowship, he was a PhD student at the University of California, Los Angeles.  You may read more about Dr. Dou at

You may read the Science article at:


Meet This Year’s Link Fellowship Recipients

Energy Resources Development and Conservation – to find out more about their research, please visit


Name: Ana Brown
Department: Applied Physics
School: California Institute of Technology
Project: Exploring the Plasmoelectric Effect - a Novel Mechanism for Solar Energy Conversion
Research Advisor:  Harry Atwater




Name: John Helveston
Department: Engineering and Public Policy
School: Carnegie Mellon University
Project: Quantifying the Environmental Implications of Consumer Preferences and Policy Incentives for Plug-in Vehicles in China
Research Advisor:Jeremy Michalek



Name: Christopher W. Roske
Department: Chemistry Department
School: California Institute of Technology
Project: Earth-Abundant Hydrobromic Acid Splitting Device
Research Advisor:Harry Gray and Nathan Lewis


Advanced Simulation and Training – to find out more about their research, please visit

ImageName: Richard Joyce
Department:  PhD Student, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Center for Human/Robotics/Vehicle Integration and Performance
School: University of California, Davis
Project: Rapidly Reconfigurable Research Cockpit
Research Advisor: Dr. Stephen K. Robinson



Name: Jia Luo
Department: PhD Student, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
School:  University of Illinois at Chicago 
Project:  Haptics-based Cataract Surgery Simulator
Research Advisor: Dr. Michael Scott


Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation – to find out more about their research, please visit


Name: Ivan Rodrigues Bertaska
Department: Department of Ocean & Mechanical Engineering
School:  Florida Atlantic University
Project:Supervisory Switching Control of an Underactuated/Overactuated Unmanned Surface Vehicle
Research Advisor:  Dr. Karl von Ellenrieder


ImageName: Chris L’Esperance
Department:  Department of Oceanography
School:  Dalhousie University 
Project:  A compact, unattended gas chromatographic system for the measurement of dissolved gases from an unmanned surface vehicle
Research Advisor: Dr. Douglas Wallace (Department of Oceanography), D. Mae Seto (Department of Mechanical Engineering)



Name: Andrew Mullen
Department:  Applied Ocean Science  
School: Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
Project: A Novel In Situ Microscope for Studying Benthic Organisms
Research Advisor: Dr. Jules Jaffe


Smithsonian Fellows – to find out more about their research, please visit


Cheryl Doughty, Villanova University
Project:Multi-Scale Drivers and Effects of Biotic Change in the Global Mangrove-Saltmarsh Ecotone
Research Advisor:I. Feller and J. Parker



John Paul Kennedy, Florida Atlantic University
Project:A Comparison of Genetic Diversity within and among Populations of the Foundation Species, Rhizophora mangle L., along the East and West Coasts of Florida
Research Advisor: I. Feller



Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University’s Summer Interns Present their Research on July 31, 2014

Shown above are the 2014 HBOI/FAU Summer Interns with Ms. Marilyn C. Link, Special Advisor to the Link Foundation, at the far left and Dr. Andrew Clark, Trustee of the Link Foundation, at the far right.

This past summer, 24 interns from 13 post-secondary institutions in six states and in India and the Netherlands, participated in the 2014 Summer Intern Program at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University, where they had the opportunity to carry out research projects in ocean engineering, the health of the Indian River Lagoon, aquaculture and drug discovery.  During their 10-week internship, the interns had the privilege to work alongside a Harbor Branch faculty mentor on their projects.   At the end of this highly competitive internship, each intern produced a written report and gave an oral presentation on their project to an audience including Harbor Branch faculty and staff, friends of Harbor Branch, program sponsors, and family on July 31, 2014.

Dr. Dennis Hanisak, Harbor Branch research professor and coordinator of the program, describes the internship as “a hands-on opportunity for students to work and learn alongside experienced professionals and ‘test drive’ the career for which they are preparing themselves in college.”  This internship can help shape the course of a life, as shown by the many alumni who have gone on to successful careers in marine science and technology.

The Internship Program, now in its 41th year, is funded primarily by the Link Foundation, with additional support from the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation.  This year, the James Pomponi Memorial Internship, HAN University of Applied Sciences, and the Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research and Technology joined the Link Foundation and the Skelly Foundation with funding for this program.  


The Link Foundation is happy to present the 2014 Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Interns which were supported by the Link Foundation:

Camille Bobiak, Florida Institute of Technology
Mahdi Esfahanian, Florida Atlantic University
Zheng Cao, University of Florida
Nick Rasoletti, Florida Atlantic University
Daniel Baima, University of Rhode Island
Jason Peck, University of Rhode Island
Nicholas Rogers, United States Coast Guard Academy
Shekhar Suman, Indian Institute of Technology
Rhiana Rolland, Flagler College
Danielle Pierone, Pennsylvania State University
Naomi Huntley, University of Michigan
Phyllis Klarmann, Florida Atlantic University
Menglin Zhao, Florida Institute of Technology
Jennifer Polinski, Florida Atlantic University

Dr. Andrew M. Clark, Link Foundation Trustee, was a Harbor Branch Summer Intern in 1979.  You may read more about Dr. Clark on our web link, “Board of Trustees and Special Advisors,” found at

History of the Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Intern Program
Authored by Dr. M. Dennis Hanisak, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University

In 1974, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, then called Harbor Branch Foundation and only three years old at the time, began a summer internship program for college students, launched with funding from the Link Foundation.  At the time, Ed Link, the inventor who had recently designed and built Harbor Branch's Johnson‑Sea‑Link manned submersibles, was Vice President of Harbor Branch, and Marilyn C. Link, Ed's sister, was Harbor Branch's first Managing Director.  The idea of the intern program was to provide college students an opportunity to further their education and training, outside the traditional classroom setting, in a real‑world situation.  Working with a mentor on the Harbor Branch staff, each intern developed a project that could be completed in a few weeks and then reported the results to the Harbor Branch community.  During that first summer, ten students spent ten weeks working with mentors in the Marine Science and Engineering Divisions.  Back in 1974, there were very few such intern opportunities for students interested in marine science or ocean engineering, and the summer intern program quickly became recognized as a successful one. 

Over the next forty-one years this education program, Harbor Branch's oldest, has continued and prospered and has become a special one to our scientists and engineers who are invigorated by the young talent of the interns each year.  From 1974 to 2014, there have been 563 summer interns at Harbor Branch/FAU.  These interns have come from over 150 universities and colleges from 35 states and 11 foreign countries.  The interns have benefitted from the opportunity to work one-on-one with over 100 mentors, all Harbor Branch/FAU staff members.  The Link Foundation has supported about 63% of the interns.  Another 11% have been funded by the Gertrude E. Skelly Charitable Foundation, which has been providing major support for interns in marine biomedical research since 1996.  Most Harbor Branch/FAU interns go on to professional careers, with nearly half receiving an MS degree and about 1/6 earning a PhD. 

For more information on the Harbor Branch/FAU Summer Intern programs, including application material, please visit:


Link Foundation Supports Promising High School Students in Florida

Since 1974, the Link Foundation has supported promising undergraduate and graduate students through the Harbor Branch Summer Internship Program.  Less well known is that the Link Foundation has also been encouraging high school students to pursue their future degrees in Engineering and related fields thorough a scholarship program, also administered by FAU (Florida Atlantic University) Harbor Branch, since 1974.  This initiative was pioneered by Clayton Link.  Over the years, approximately 100 students have benefitted from these scholarships and the resulting recognition that follows.

Currently up to three scholarships at $1,000 each are awarded to senior high school graduates to be used at the college/university of the recipient’s choice in the state of Florida.   The selection of the recipients is facilitated by partnerships with three science and engineering fairs.  Two of these are in the counties most immediately associated with the Harbor Branch community: The Indian River County and St. Lucie County Regional Science and Engineering Fairs, while the third opportunity is state-wide, via the Science and Engineering Fair administered by the Florida Foundation for Future Scientists. 

Criteria for selection for these scholarships include: 1) students must be a senior in an accredited Florida High School; 2) students must have at least a 3.0 GPA; 3) students must have an acceptable score on a national college entrance test (i.e. SAT, PSAT, ACT); 4) students must have a project on the basis of merit as the best in one of these disciplines: a) Marine Biology, b) Ocean Engineering, c) Energy Conservation and Research, d) Oceanography, e) Aviation.  These scholarships are presented in memory of E. Clayton Link, son of the Founders, and Albert D. Stover.

This year, only one scholarship was given as the two local county fairs did not have a qualifying student (promising students who were interviewed were either going out of state for their college careers, or they were going to major in a discipline not listed above).  The sole 2014 recipient was awarded at the 59th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida, held in Lakeland, this April: Hunter Stafford, a graduating senior from The Villages Charter School, in the Villages (Sumter County).  His science project focused on Optimizing Turbine Efficiency and grew out of three years of his high school science research.  Hunter plans to continue working on this topic in the future, and he will major in engineering or physics at the University of Florida starting in August 2014. 

Dennis Hanisak, FAU Harbor Branch Research Professor and Education Director, says: “The recipients of the high school scholarships funded by the Link Foundation are always very grateful for the funding and encouragement that goes with these awards.  Each of them has clearly demonstrated a strong interest consistent with the high priorities established by the Link Foundation.  It is wonderful to be involved with providing such opportunities to creative young engineers and scientists who will hopefully go on to long, productive careers and make a difference in the world.”


Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Awards at Indian River State College

The Link Foundation has had a significant impact at Indian River State College (IRSC) by providing Distinguished Scholar Awards, totaling over $254,500, to over 84 highly qualified IRSC graduates since 1999.  These transfer scholarships enable highly qualified Associate in Arts (AA) graduates of IRSC each year to continue their education in the fields of marine science, engineering, oceanography, physics, mathematics, energy research, or simulation training. These prestigious scholarships are presented annually to students who attained a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average at Indian River State College, and are admitted to an accredited upper-division program. 

We are delighted to share recent notes from the 2014-2015 Link Foundation Distinguished Scholars:

Thank you for your generous Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award.  I was elated to find that I was chosen as a recipient of this scholarship.  It is my goal to obtain a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and work in the space industry.  The more I learn about the benefits of research that goes into space programs, the more I aspire to be a part of the team that helps our society advance.  After graduating from Indian River State College, I plan to attend the University of Central Florida starting this summer and move forward with my goal.  Thanks to your Scholarship, I am one step closer to my dream.  With the Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award, my financial responsibilities have been made easier.  The trust you have placed in me to be successful in my academics has motivated me to fulfill your expectations and more.  One day, after I receive my degree and have a steady career, I hope to assist students with their academic goals as you have done for me.  – Yasmin M. Coleman

I would like to express how grateful I am to have received a scholarship from the Link Foundation.  With the support of the Link scholarship, I will be able to further my studies, and it will greatly reduce the financial burden that attending college will bestow upon me.  I am an aspiring mechanical engineer planning to attend the University of Central Florida in the coming fall semester.  Thanks to the Link Foundation, I am one step closer to my goal.  The scholarships that the Link Foundation offers to Indian River State College graduates are a great benefit to me, and my fellow classmates.  I hope someday in the future I will be able to help students further their education like you have with me.  Thank you Marilyn C. Link and members of the Link Foundation Board. – Tyler Harmon

I would like to thank you for the scholarship you have given me.  It is very generous of you to offer financial aid to students like myself, and I would like to assure you I will use this money for its intended purpose.  I was really happy and grateful when I found out I had received this scholarship, receiving this aid will allow me to focus more in my studies and continue to pursue a higher education.  Thanks to your generosity, I am now one step closer to my goal.  I am transferring this fall to continue my engineering career at a 4 year State University because I can’t finish it at my local college.  I want to study Industrial Engineering and receiving this aid will ease my financial burden and allow me to focus on the rigorous classes that are ahead of me.  Once I finish my bachelor’s degree, I plan to pursue a master’s degree, so any amount of aid I receive is greatly appreciated as it will be a huge financial responsibility.  By my twin sister and my parents were really excited for the news, and they too are grateful for this opportunity.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for selecting me, receiving this scholarship is the best news I have gotten in a while. – Andrea Lopez

I wish to express my sincerest thanks and gratitude for the honor of being granted a Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award.  I am determined to utilize this scholarship to realize my fullest potential and join the ranks of other recipients who are doubtless a source of continuing pride to the Foundation.  – Tracy L. Matteson

I would like to thank you for your generosity in funding the Link Foundation Distinguished Scholar Award.  I am extremely honored to be the recipient of this award.  I am transferring in the fall to the University of Central Florida.  My goal is to complete my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.  This scholarship motivates me to maintain my GPA and complete my degree.  I look forward to being able to give back to my community, as you have done for me, once I get my degree.  I can’t begin to thank you enough for your confidence and willingness to help me achieve my goals.  – Matthew Newman


Link Summer Science Explorations Camp at Kopernik Observatory

The Link Foundation has been supporting the Link Summer Science Exploration Camp held at Kopernik Observatory & Science Center, Vestal, NY, for 20 years.  This week-long camp offers hands-on, high-tech adventures in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in a fun and nurturing environment and provides students with the opportunity to learn more about the world and the universe around them.  The Link Summer Science day camp encourages students to view Edwin A. Link as a role model and someone who was dedicated to life-long learning in science, technology, exploration, and creative problem-solving.    As part of the summer curriculum, the students visit the permanent Link exhibit at Roberson Museum and Science Center, Binghamton, NY, where they take a guided tour and learn more about Edwin A. Link and the “Blue Box.”  Throughout the Link Summer Science Exploration program, students are encouraged to make a mark on their world, like Edwin A. Link.

We are pleased to share comments from some summer 2014 camp attendees:

            “Thumbs up and 3 cheers for the Link Summer STEM Summer Camp.  Your staff is to be congratulated for the superb job they are doing this week already with the children.  My son couldn’t be more turned on, which I’m certain is the case for his fellow discoverers as well.  He can hardly wait for the robot session tomorrow.  Thanks for stimulating the imaginations of these children and giving them unforgettable insights into the world of science.”

“My daughter was so completely won over by you as her teacher for camp this summer.  She was apprehensive and skeptical about the camp – but by the end of the week, she was beside herself with excitement and joy for what she had learned and how the class was conducted.”


The Edwin A. Link and Marion C. Link Scholarship Fund

The Link family, the Link Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Stuart McCarty (Mr. McCarty was a former Link Foundation Trustee and Special Advisor), established the endowed Edwin A. and Marion C. Link Scholarship Fund in 2007.  This fund is administered by The Community Foundation for South Central New York, Inc. 

This scholarship is awarded annually to Binghamton, NY,  High School seniors who are residents of Broome County, and have demonstrated a commitment to engineering, with special consideration to those students who have evidenced an interest in energy, simulation, marine science or aeronautical or ocean engineering.  Since 2013 there have been two annual scholarships awarded, one scholarship to a Binghamton High School student and one to a Seton Catholic High School student who meets the award’s criteria.  The students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, or its equivalent, and have been active in community and/or extracurricular activities.  The $2,000 scholarship awards are non-renewable and are to be applied to tuition expenses for the first and second semester of the awardees’ freshman year at a qualified accredited college or university.

The 2014 scholarships were presented to Megan Van Vorce, from Binghamton High School, who was a full international baccalaureate candidate with a 98.4 average and an extensive resume of clubs and activities.  Megan is attending SUNY Oswego this fall.

The second award recipient is Tyler Majercik-Scott, from Seton Catholic High School.  Tyler maintained a high 90 GPA though out high school and in his chosen field of aviation computer science.  He was active in numerous clubs and activities while in high school.  Tyler will be attending Florida Institute of Technology this fall and will be studying Aerospace Computer Engineering.

Past recipients of this award are:

2013 Eva Arnold (Seton Catholic High School) – Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
2013 Katarzyna Nowacki (Binghamton High School) – Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, FL
2012 Alex Palma - Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
2011 Clara Scholtz - Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
2010 Steve Maniates - Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY
2009 Marc Houlihan – Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY

Congratulations to these fine students who, with their academic and community credentials, have promising futures and exemplify the qualities celebrated by the Edwin A. and Marion C. Link Scholarship.


ARINC to present award in honor of Edwin A. Link on September 16, 2014

ARINC’s (Aeronautical Radio Inc.) Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference will take place at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel and Convention Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma, September 15 – 18, 2014.  This annual conference attended by flight simulator experts from around the world, identifies technical solutions to engineering and maintenance issues resulting in immediate and long-term savings and increased efficiency for simulator users.  An annual award, sponsored by the Flight Simulator Engineering and Maintenance Conference, will be presented in honor of Edwin A. Link at the opening session of this conference on September 16, 2014.

Over the past fourteen years, ARINC has presented awards in honor of Edwin A. Link to an outstanding member of the simulation community in recognition of their contributions of ideas, leadership and innovation which will benefit the simulation industry.  The Edwin A. Link Award has become world-renowned as the simulation industry’s highest award for individual achievement.

Past recipients of this award are:

2013 No recipient
2012 Jeff Everett, RSI Visual Systems
2011 Richard Holmes and Joe Mays, Electronic Image Systems, Inc./Barco Simulation
2010 Dr. David White, Thales Training and Simulation
2009 Craig Phillips, Redifun Simulation Inc. (RSI)
2008 Andy Ramsden, Rockwell Collins
2007 Joe Biller, L-3 Communications - Link Simulation and Training Division
2005 Jim Guvernator, Southwest Airlines
2004 Stuart N. Willmott, CAE SimuFlite
2003 Dr. John Hunt, General Precision Corporation (formerly Link Aviation, Inc.)
2002 Kendall W. Neville, The Boeing Company
2001 Stuart Anderson, Evans & Sutherland
2000 Joe Depaola, American Airlines
1999 Wolf-Dieter Hass, Lufthansa Flight Training


The Royal Aeronautical Society’s Edwin A. Link Lectures

The Royal Aeronautical Society established the annual Edwin A. Link Lecture Series in 2007 to honor Ed, who is known as the distinguished pioneer of synthetic training.  Ed’s remarkable foresight led to the creation of the Link Trainer, or “Blue Box” as it came to be known, the precursor of today’s powerful synthetic training devices, most notably full flight simulators. 

Edwin A. Link Lectures have been presented since 2007 as follows:

June 4, 2014 – At the Royal Aeronautical Society’s headquarters in London – Captain Randall L. Neville, 787 Chief Test Pilot, The Boeing Company, presented a lecture entitled, “Simulation – Before, During and After Flight Test.”

June 12, 2013 - At the Royal Aeronautical Society’s headquarters in London - Dr. David White, Chief Scientist, L-3 Link, presented the lecture entitled, “What Comes First – The Aeroplane or the Simulator?  Thriving & Surviving Through Technical Innovation.”

May 30, 2012 - At the Royal Aeronautical Society’s headquarters in London - Richard “Dick” Eastman OBE, RAeS RAF (retired) presented the lecture entitled, “A Journey Through Flight Simulation.”

June 8, 2011 – At the Royal Aeronautical Society’s headquarters in London - John Farley OBE, AFC, presented the Lecture entitled, “My 53 Years as a Flight Simulation User.”

June 10, 2010 – At the Royal Aeronautical Society’s headquarters in London - Marion Broughton, Vice President Avionics from Thales Training and Simulation, UK, gave a talk entitled, “The Downturn Opportunity in the Flight Simulation Industry?”

November 19, 2009 – At the British Embassy in Washington, DC

April 9, 2008 – At the British Embassy in Washington, DC – Mr. Bruce Whitman, President and CEO of FlightSafety International presented the lecture entitled, “The Link Legacy”

November 8, 2007 – The inaugural Edwin A. Link Lecture was presented in London by Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, the Chief of the Defense Staff of the Royal Aeronautical Society

The RAeS Flight Simulation group believes the Link Trainer represented a milestone in the history of Flight Simulation.  Ed Link is generally recognized as the “father of flight simulation.”

It is expected that yearly lectures will continue to be held in London and Washington, DC.