Montana Minnis, a second-year graduate student co-advised by Professor Ryan Hayward and Assistant Professor C. Wyatt Shields IV, was selected for the 2021 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Program. This prestigious fellowship provides mentoring and financial support to students working in science and engineering fields of military interest.
“This fellowship should provide me with some independence throughout the rest of my PhD to continue pursuing interesting research directions in colloidal self-assembly,” Minnis said. “I will also have opportunities to network with other NDSEG fellows and Department of Defense scientists through the mentorship program.”
Minnis’ professional goal is to work for a national laboratory, and he sees this program as a foot in the door in the military research space.
“This fellowship will put me in touch with scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory,” he said. “I also hope to collaborate with Army scientists and potentially do an internship at a DoD lab.”
Minnis acknowledged the full support of his advisers Shields and Hayward in pursuing this fellowship, as well as that of Gregory Grason and his research group at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, who helped him develop his research proposal and provided feedback on initial drafts.
“Montana has gotten off to a great start in his work on fabricating shape-changing colloidal particles, and we are excited to see where his work will lead us in understanding how to tune their self-assembly,” Hayward said. “The NDSEG fellowship is a truly fantastic opportunity for him to be able to develop his independence in research and also build strong connections within the Department of Defense.”
Minnis completed his undergraduate degree in chemical engineering at the University of Oklahoma.