The Michigan Engineer News Center

Four ChE students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

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EnlargePortraits of four ChE students awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
IMAGE:  Four ChE students are among this year's NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients (from left): Brianna Lax, Jonathan Lee, Daniel Matera, and Patrick McCauley.

Four chemical engineering students—two graduate and two undergraduate students—are National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship recipients. NSF selected 2,000 students nationwide from more than 12,000 applications to receive an award offer.

Chemical engineering’s awardees are:

  • Brianna Lax, undergraduate student
  • Jonathan Lee, first-year PhD student, Lola Eniola-Adefeso’s Lab
  • Daniel Matera, second-year PhD student, Brendon Baker’s Lab; BME
  • Patrick McCauley, undergraduate student

In addition, the following chemical engineering students received honorable mentions:

  • Rachel Elias, first-year PhD student, Suljo Linic’s Lab
  • Alexander Hill, first-year PhD student, Andrej Lenert/Johannes Schwank’s Labs
  • Ron Lacour, second-year PhD student, Sharon Glotzer’s Lab
  • Justin Rose, undergraduate student
  • Kaylee Smith, second-year PhD student, Sunitha Nagrath’s Lab

Meet the Awardees

Brianna Lax

As an undergraduate, Lax conducted research in the Burns Group. Since graduating in December 2017, Lax has stayed involved in teaching in the department and currently serves as president of the Michigan chapter of
Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society.

Beginning in fall 2018, Lax will pursue her PhD in chemical engineering and plans to focus on metabolic engineering and natural product discovery research. She aspires to become a professor after graduate school.

Jonathan Lee

Lee’s work involves designing microparticle drug carriers to target atherosclerotic plaques and degrade in their presence, allowing for targeted treatment of cardiovascular disease. After obtaining his degree, Lee plans to pursue job opportunities in the pharmaceutical field.

Daniel Matera

Matera’s research uses materials engineering approaches combined with molecular tools, live imaging, and microfluidic techniques to study the interactions between cells and their surrounding microenvironment. Mechanistic understanding of the interaction between fundamental cellular processes and the extracellular matrix (ECM) can help provide insight into ECM-mediated diseases, such as in cancer and fibrosis.

Patrick McCauley

Patrick McCauley is a senior undergraduate ChE currently working in Prof. Ronald G. Larson’s lab. Beginning in fall 2018, McCauley will pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Minnesota and plans to conduct research in areas of soft matter and or complex fluids.”

Portraits of four ChE students awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Portrait of a woman with dark hair


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