Four current Mines students and six recent graduates are among the 2019 winners of the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
The program, which started in 1952 shortly after Congress established NSF, is the oldest continuous graduate fellowship of its kind. It provides three years of support for the graduate education of individuals who have demonstrated potential for significant achievements in the STEM disciplines.
The 2019 Mines awardees:
Alec Saville, a metallurgical and materials engineering PhD student, won for his research proposal on additive manufacturing for aerospace applications. His advisor is Associate Professor Amy Clarke.
“Additive manufacturing (AM), also known as 3D printing, can build a plethora of designs with a huge range of materials. This is especially advantageous for aerospace applications, where metallic parts can now be made with previously impossible to create shapes via additive manufacturing. One major challenge with utilizing AM for such manufacturing is the inconsistent material behavior that can result, even when using similar building processes. Compounding this is the lack of understanding presently available to explain why the material changes in the way it does. My research focuses on looking at how the material changes as we deposit material in an AM build process, developing a method to predict how a material will behave after production and identifying why this is the case. With this understanding, AM built metal can be used with greater confidence for aerospace applications improving reliability, safety and efficiency,” Saville said.
Alex Honeyman, a civil and environmental engineering PhD student, is focusing on the fusion of microbiology, geochemistry and engineering for the assessment of burned lands after large wildfires. His advisor is Professor John R. Spear.
“Massive wildfires have become epidemic in the American West, and little is known about how burned lands truly behave/recover after these disturbances. Through the lens of microbial ecology, geochemistry and environmental engineering, I will investigate the mechanisms that underpin soil and ecosystem response to fire,” Honeyman said.
James Crawford, a chemical engineering PhD student, is researching heterogeneous catalysis and molecular separations for biofuel production. His advisor is Associate Professor Moises Carreon.
“Our research focus is on the production of renewable transportation fuels from biomass feedstocks. Advantages of using nonedible biomass for fuel include up to a 70 percent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to petroleum fuels and national energy security/independence from foreign oil imports. We are currently researching non-noble metal catalysts supported on high-surface-area zeolites. With the NSF GRF funding we hope to combine the worlds of heterogeneous catalysis and selective membrane separations to provide industrially relevant biomass-derived gasoline and diesel fuels,” Crawford said.
Grace Anderson, a senior majoring in chemical engineering, won for her research proposal on the analysis of catalyst durability in alkaline electrolysis to build a prediction model. She will attend the University of California, Berkeley for her PhD in chemical engineering.
“I don’t know what my graduate research will be yet, but I’m planning on doing research related to electrochemistry either in energy storage or CO2 utilization,” Anderson said.
Six recent Mines graduates were also among the 1,500 fellowship awardees nationwide:
- Nicholas Kincaid ‘17, Mechanical Engineering, now at Cornell University
- Steven Clark ‘18, Engineering Physics, now at Rutgers University
- Alyssa Spomer ‘16, Mechanical Engineering, now at University of Washington
- Ginevra Moore ‘16, Geophysical Engineering, now at University of Washington
- Megan Auger ‘18, Mechanical Engineering, now at University of Washington
- Barathwaj Murali ‘18, Mechanical Engineering, now at Rice University