Two CU-Boulder Students Receive Major National Awards

September 27, 1999

Recipients of the 1999 BFGoodrich Collegiate Inventors of the Year award and the 1999 Marshall Sherfield Fellowship included two students from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Chemical engineering major Andrew Neice received the prestigious BFGoodrich award for his "porous membrane" invention during his freshman and sophomore years with CU-Boulder's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and CU's Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program.

Neice invented a structure control device using an electric field to eliminate macrovoid formations, or pinholes, in semi-permeable polymeric membranes. Macrovoids cripple the performance of polymeric membranes when they are used in the desalinization of sea water, water treatment and the delivery of pharmaceuticals.

CU-Boulder has filed a patent for Neice's invention.

Neice is one of only three undergraduate students in the nation to receive the prestigious BFGoodrich award. He received a cash award of $3,000 and an award plaque at a special awards ceremony at the BFGoodrich National Inventors Hall of Fame in Akron, Ohio.

The Marshall Sherfield fellowship was awarded to Rorik Peterson, who recently completed his doctoral studies with CU-Boulder's Department of Chemical Engineering and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research . Only two Marshall Sherfield Fellowships are awarded each year throughout the nation.

The fellowship enables American scientists and engineers to assume their post-doctoral research at a British university or research institute. Peterson will carry out his year-long advanced study at the Mathematical Institute at Oxford University beginning in October.

The fellowships, named after Lord Sherfield, British ambassador to the United States from 1953 to 1956, are funded by the British government to introduce American scientists and engineers to the cutting edge of British science and engineering and foster long-term contact between the two countries in key scientific areas.

Peterson completed his doctoral research under the direction of chemical engineering professor William Krantz, an INSTAAR Research Fellow and President's Teaching Scholar at CU-Boulder. Neice carried out his undergraduate research under the joint direction of Krantz, chemical engineering Professor Paul Todd and mechanical engineering Professor Alan Greenberg.

Krantz said he believes that the two prestigious awards attest to the way that research is providing an effective total learning environment both for CU's undergraduate and graduate students.

"Research does not trickle through our undergraduate programs at CU," Krantz said. "It flows and permeates them at every level. It provides a unique experience for our CU undergraduate students that cannot be obtained at non-research institutions."

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