Ossining’s Emma San Martin Poised for Liftoff after West Point

West Point Cadet Emma San Martin, an Ossining High School graduate who recently received a Marshall Scholarship. Photo courtesy of the United States Military Academy

West Point Cadet Emma San Martin, an Ossining High School graduate, has been selected as a recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship for continued academic study following graduation in May 2022. 

San Martin, a mechanical engineering major and aeronautics minor, has been a science standout since her high school days, and will be seeking a pair of master’s degrees in her chosen fields in the United Kingdom. 

She’ll be commissioned as a military intelligence officer when she leaves the U.S. Military Academy, according to the school. San Martin was among three cadets chosen for the scholarship, and one of only 41 nationwide. 

San Martin was born in Chile and raised in New York. After listening to her father describe his childhood in Chile under the repressive regime of dictator Augusto Pinochet, San Martin decided to enter the service as both a soldier and scientist. 

She showed early promise in the classroom, according to Ossining High School science teacher Angelo Piccirillo. 

“Emma was homeschooled until she came to OHS in 9th grade,” Piccirillo wrote in an email. “I credit her parents for instilling in her a great deal of independence and a wonderful sense of empathy. What was immediately noticeable was her incredible intelligence and ability to be creative which is essential for a promising bioengineer.” 

Emma continues to climb high. Photo courtesy of the United States Military Academy

In high school, San Martin participated in the Science Research program taught by Piccirillo and Valerie Holmes. She performed biomechanics research at the Hospital for Special Surgery, and was recognized as a Science Talent Search scholar. 

At West Point, she published research papers with the American Society of Biomechanics and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. San Martin invented a carburetor deicing device for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), for which a patent is pending. Currently, she is working on modifying rotor blades to improve liftoff for the Army’s UAVs. 

San Martin served as a basic training company commander last summer and is now the executive officer for her battalion. A longtime pianist, San Martin also enjoys writing music and singing with the Cadet Glee Club.  

“The Marshall Scholarship provides me with an opportunity to pursue knowledge and connections that will make me not just a more effective officer and researcher, but an ambassador of science between the U.S. and UK through the design of defense, reconnaissance, and exploratory aircraft,” San Martin stated in a West Point press release. 

The Marshall Scholarship is named for Gen. George C. Marshall, the Army’s chief of staff during World War II, and later secretary of state and secretary of defense under President Harry S. Truman. It is funded by the British government for intellectually distinguished young Americans to study at a university in the United Kingdom.  

Click here to learn more about Emma San Martin’s latest project. 

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