CHE NSF and NDSEG graduate fellowship recipients

These programs support outstanding students with high potential in science, technology, engineering and mathematics early in their graduate training.

Please join the Department of Chemical Engineering in congratulating our newest fellowship recipients. Shannon Moran, Sean Dix, and Sarah Owen are recipients of 2017 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. This program supports outstanding students with high potential in science, technology, engineering and mathematics early in their graduate training. We are also pleased to announce that Zixuan Wang and John Hemmerling have received this year’s Department of Defense’s National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowships (NDSEG). The Department of Defense offers these fellowships to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering.

Shannon Moran, a second-year student in Sharon Glotzer’s group, received her BS in chemical engineering, with a minor in writing, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she uses computational methods to study how colloidal materials self-assemble, with the goal of enabling “materials by design” where materials are designed to deliver desired properties.

Shannon is active within the department as a peer mentor and graduate recruitment Co-chair. She has also served in the national leadership of the Out for Undergraduate Engineering Conference for LGBT undergraduates. She plans to pursue a career in academia after she completes her doctoral degree.

Sean Dix is a first-year PhD student from Charleston, South Carolina. He stayed in-state and received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Clemson University.

As a member of Suljo Linic’s group, his research focuses on creating nanostructured materials for improving upon hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative energy technology. By combining computational and experimental techniques, Sean seeks to uncover the underlying mechanism of the oxygen reduction half reaction to rationally design cheap, active catalysts. After graduation, Sean plans to pursue a career as a research professor.

Originally from Seattle, Washington, Sarah Owen is a second-year PhD student in Sunitha Nagrath’s group. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of Washington. Her research focus on the single cell analysis of circulating tumor cells with single molecule resolution. The goal is to determine the unique characteristics that make certain cancer more aggressive, and then look for the presence of these markers in cancer patients as a predictor of disease progression and treatment response.

While at Michigan, she has been a part of the microfluidics in biomedical training program (MBSTP) and served on the board of the affiliated microfluidics student organization, FO.

Luke Bugada, from Fei Wen’s group, Alison Banka, from Lola Eniola-Adefeso’s group, and Dylan Neale, from Joerg Lahann’s group, received honorable mention notice from the National Science Foundation.

John Hemmerling, a first-year PhD student in Suljo Linic’s group, from Crown Point, Indiana, has received an NDSEG fellowship. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Purdue University. His research focuses on designing metal-insulator-semiconductor systems that harness the energy from sunlight for enhanced photocatalytic water splitting. Water splitting is a sustainable method to produce hydrogen, which is an important feed for fuel cells and the chemical industry.

After graduate school, John plans to join a startup or pursue an entrepreneurial career focused on sustainable energy production.

Our second NDSEG fellow is Zixuan Wang, a first-year PhD student from Flagstaff, Arizona, is a member of Levi Thompson’s group. She graduated with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on using early transition metal carbide and nitride supported catalysts for ammonia synthesis applications.

At Michigan, Zixuan is actively involved in the Chemical Engineering Graduate Society and the Society of Women Engineers.