Computer engineering student Alexander Green is soaring to new heights thanks to a coveted scholarship that gives him the opportunity to work for the U.S. Air Force.

Green, a Burnett Honors Scholar, has been awarded the Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship. The competitive scholarship-for-service program, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), includes full tuition, annual stipends, internships and guaranteed employment following graduation.

The scholarship will enable Green to continue his undergraduate studies at UCF and pursue a master’s degree.

“I feel incredibly grateful and honored to have been chosen for this program,” he says. “This scholarship serves as a motivation for me to continue striving for excellence in my studies.”

Green is interning for the U.S. Air Force this summer at Robins Air Force Base, honing his skills in software development and systems engineering by working for the 402nd Software Engineering Group. He’ll begin his internship with SMART next May at the same base, supporting radar-guided weapons system AMRAAM, or Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile. As part of the program, he’ll also have the opportunity to work alongside military personnel that will serve as his mentors: Ryan Long, Air Dominance Chief, and Tristan Caruso, AMRAAM Production Engineering Branch Chief.

He’s especially excited to be working for the U.S. Air Force as a civil service engineer to gain hands-on experience with cutting edge technology while working to help support the nation’s defense.

“My goal is to make significant contributions by leveraging these skills and knowledge to refine and improve the system’s producibility, reliability and capabilities,” Green says.

Long before his career was poised to take flight, Green was drawn to programming thanks to a Python coding book, a gift from his parents. His passion for coding, along with his interest in math and science, was a natural fit for computer engineering.

He chose to attend UCF for its reputation for being one of the top engineering institutions.

“I love the exceptional facilities and the community at UCF,” Green says. “I am confident I will receive an unparalleled education here. Its faculty of outstanding educators are some of the most desirable on the planet.”

The DoD SMART Program has awarded scholarships to a total of 40 UCF students from 2007 to 2022. Interested undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students pursuing a STEM degree can apply at The application period is from August to December.