Three MatSE graduate students and one MatSE undergraduate have recently received competitive national fellowships for the upcoming academic year.
Connor Bailey, Leon Dean, and Shannon Murray received a Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) from the National Science Foundation. Launched in 1952, the NSF-GRF program is the nation’s oldest and largest fellowship program for graduate students. It is also one of the most prestigious. Approximately 17,000 students applied this year, and 2,000 were offered awards. Fellowships provide three years of support and come with a $34,000 annual stipend, along with coverage of tuition and fees. Awardees also have access to international research opportunities, supercomputing resources and internships with federal agencies.
Connor Bailey will graduate in May with his bachelor’s degree in MatSE. He chose the field of materials science for his undergraduate study because he thought it was a great blend of chemistry and physics and many exciting advances were being made in the field. Bailey participated in undergraduate research with Prof. Can Bayram in the ECE Department.
Leon Dean received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He chose the U of I for graduate study because of the combination of compelling research and a friendly, collaborative environment. Dean, a Ph.D. student in the Sottos research group, is working on biomimetic regeneration and remodeling in polymeric materials.
Shannon Murray received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas A&M University. She came to Illinois because of the relaxed and cooperative nature of the MatSE Department. "I also came for the diverse research pursuing both fundamental science and application driven results," she said. A Ph.D. student in the Shoemaker research group, Murray is currently working on the synthesis of ternary systems expected to exhibit a metal-insulator transition with temperature in order to study the change in thermal conductivity.
Megan Brooks received a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship from the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD awarded approximately 200 new three-year graduate fellowships in 2016. NDSEG Fellowships last for three years and pay for full tuition and all mandatory fees, a monthly stipend, and up to $1,000 a year in medical insurance.
Megan Brooks, a Ph.D. student in the Sottos research group, is currently working on fabricating pH responsive microcapsules for use in anti-corrosive smart-coatings. "Depending on the core material, these microcapsules will allow for autonomous release of corrosion inhibitors or indicators to aid in identifying and preventing pitting corrosion," she said. Brooks received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University and came to the U of I because of its well-respected MatSE program and the friendly atmosphere of the town and university.