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CEMS undergraduate Brian Carrick awarded prestigious 2021 Goldwater Scholarship

March 30, 2021 - Two juniors in the University Honors Program at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities have been recognized as Goldwater Scholars by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Hannah Bodmer and Brian Carrick (ChE '22) will receive scholarships worth up to $7,500 for their senior years. This prestigious, competitive scholarship is awarded annually to outstanding sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue research-oriented careers in mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. This year 410 students were recognized as Goldwater Scholars out of approximately 1,000 nominees from 438 colleges and universities nationwide.

Last summer, Brian Carrick, a junior chemistry and chemical engineering major from Red Wing had a Heisig/Gleysteen fellowship from the Department of Chemistry and an Undergraduate Research Opportunities award but no access to a lab. The COVID-19 pandemic had closed the lab of Regents Professor Timothy Lodge, where Carrick had been investigating the dispersal of polymers in ionic liquids. One of his projects — an approximation of the binodal curve for polybenzyl methacrylate in an ionic liquid — produced results challenging an accepted solution theory and won a top prize for student research when presented at the national conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. But without access to a lab, he couldn’t move on to the next stage of his planned work, so he reimagined the work to be speculating about the implications and possibilities of his research and hypothesizing a new technique for triggering phase separation of polymer solutions.

In addition to his research, is a tutor for calculus and organic chemistry on campus, has volunteered as a STEM camp leader with Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute, and is a leader of the campus chapters of AICHE and the Tau Beta Pi honor society. He received scholarship support for AY 2020-21 from the Jerry and Leona Hillestad Scholarship in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS). He plans to complete a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering and lead a polymer research group to produce functionalized polymeric materials from renewable feedstocks and explore eco-friendly, catalytic decomposition of plastics.

Excerpt from a news release written by University Public Relations.

Related Link: https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events/two-university-minnesota-juniors-awarded-2021-goldwater-scholarships

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