Polymer Science Student in Russell Lab Receives Coveted DOE Award

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Department of Energy logo

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced that Ph.D. student Zachary Marc Fink and polymer scientist Thomas Russell’s lab has been selected to receive its Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) award. It will support his research project, “Imaging Nanoparticle Jamming at Liquid: Liquid Interfaces by Real-Time, In-Situ TEM.”

DOE says the award was given in recognition of Fink’s “outstanding academic accomplishments,” the merit of his research proposal, and his potential to make important contributions to the mission of the DOE Office of Science. 

Fink says of the honor, “I am delighted to have been chosen to receive the SCGSR award and for the amazing opportunity to work with leading experts at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In addition to propelling my thesis research forward, this opportunity will also give me a sense of how research is conducted in a national lab setting. I am very excited to get started!”

Russell adds, “The fellowship Zach received is a very competitive national award for which he had to write astiffly-reviewed proposal. He will be doing workwith Shaul Aloniat the Molecular Foundry at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where he will be building a flow-through liquid cell to investigate the assembly of nanoparticles at liquid-liquid interfaces using in situ time-resolved transmission electron microscopy. He deserves a lot of credit for this recognition.”

Russell and colleagues have been interested in liquid interfaces for several years and have conducted many oil-and-water experiments to observe results under various conditions. Fink will take these studies to a new level, Russell notes.

The SCGSR program provides supplemental funds for graduate students to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory/facility in collaboration with a DOE laboratory scientist within a defined award period. The program goal is to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics careers critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission, by providing graduate thesis research opportunities at DOE laboratories.