Bode, who graduated with an applied physics degree from Linfield College during commencement exercises on June 1, will study and conduct research at the Institute of Space Systems in Stuttgart, Germany. He will work on developing more efficient technology for space exploration by studying the temperature and particles in plasma ion engines.
Sixteen Linfield College graduating seniors have won Fulbright grants since 1999. The grants are designed to fund study, research and teaching in other countries to promote a greater understanding of different cultures and nationalities.
Bode's interest in space travel was ignited in the sixth grade when his teacher asked the class to draw the space shuttle.
"I drew ice trays under the rocket because I was worried about it overheating," said Bode, an Eagle Scout.
Years later, he has narrowed his focus to propulsion through a variety of research opportunities. Bode has conducted research with his Linfield professors and last summer he took part in a research experience for undergraduates (REU) program offered through the National Science Foundation at Pennsylvania State University. He was part of a team of students competing to design the most efficient and workable small satellite.
"I've always been interested in space travel, and that experience solidified my interest," he said.
Outside the physics lab, Bode maintains an active life as well. At Linfield, he served as a resident adviser and student senator, in addition to participating in the Sigma Pi Sigma national physics honor society and Alpha Lambda Delta national honor society. A music minor, he plays the alto and baritone saxophone, and was a member of the Linfield concert choir, jazz band and concert band. Last year, he was one of the winners of the Linfield Chamber Orchestra concerto competition. While in Germany, Bode hopes to join a music ensemble.
Bode is looking forward to the opportunity to live in another country and strengthen his use of the German language.
"But more importantly, I'm hoping to get a perspective of both the German culture and my own culture," he said. "I realized I could do all this cool research and learn more about what I'll be doing in my future career."
Bode has studied abroad before. He took part in two January Term courses at Linfield, studying philosophy in England and Spain, and creative writing in England, Scotland and Wales.
His biggest challenge will be learning about his project since he does not have a large amount of experience with ion particles.
"I chose a project that really interested me, rather than one that I had a lot of experience with," he said. "It will give me a head start for graduate school work."
After his year in Germany, Bode will enter a doctoral program at Purdue University. Ultimately, he hopes to work for a private aeronautical engineering company designing engines for rockets.