G. Brymer Williams, professor emeritus of chemical engineering, was associated with the Department of Chemical Engineering for 68 years. He received his BS in 1936 and his PhD in 1949, the same year he joined the faculty.
In honor of his countless contributions and his devoted friendship to students, a scholarship fund was established in Brymer’s name upon his retirement in 1984. The scholarship has been extraordinarily helpful to students with financial need and a good academic record since it was established. It has allowed students the freedom to pursue their passions with greatly lessened or completely eliminated financial stress and as an endowment it will continue to support future students in perpetuity.
Since 2006 the scholarship has supported 153 students and provided a total of $379,967 in funding.
One recipient, Joan Lee, graduated this year with a major in chemical engineering. During her undergraduate studies, she developed a deep interest in working in research labs. Lee’s first experience involved creating a nanobody that best binds to heat shock proteins, which regulate the folding of proteins. Most recently, she worked in a lab developing flexible LEDs for blood oxygen monitoring.
“I could spend more time working in the research lab, which provided me with more educational opportunities to learn expertise in the opto-electronics field,” Lee said of the scholarship’s impact. “It eliminated my financial considerations, so I could focus on my studies and research.”
Another recipient, Erika Chatell, is set to graduate in 2023 with a degree in chemical engineering. After discovering a passion for food science in her first semester of undergraduate studies and using the skills and knowledge gained from her experience, she hopes to create more accessible products for people with dietary restrictions, especially those in low-income areas.
Before receiving the scholarship, Lee typically worked three jobs simultaneously – on top of taking a full semester of classes – to keep up with finances. With the help of the scholarship, she now has expanded financial and academic freedom.
“With less hours spent working while still trying to be a full-time student, I am able to focus more time and energy on my school work and the clubs I take part in on campus,” she explained. “My academic success is owed to the support from this scholarship.”
G. Brymer Williams was one of the most revered faculty members in the history of the department. He passed away on September 19, 2003. Through this scholarship, his legacy continues to support students in the chemical engineering community.