Published: April 28, 2023 By

Six Chemical and Biological Engineering graduate students have received 2023 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships, a prestigious award that recognizes and supports outstanding students in a wide variety of science-related disciplines. This year the NSF awarded 43 University of Colorado Boulder students, including 28 from the College of Engineering and Applied Science, with the graduate research fellowship.

Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $37,000 and full coverage of tuition, fees and insurance, along with opportunities for international research and professional development that span five years. 

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Kiera Croland

Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Stephanie Bryant

The overall goal of this project is to develop a mechanically-functional osteochondral composite composed of a soft hydrogel and stiff 3D-printed structure capable of directing osteochondral repair. I will focus on probing the interface between infilled hydrogels and the 3D printed structure using techniques such as confocal microscopy, immunofluorescence,and rheology. The goal of my project is to quantify the spatial variance in material properties and identify the impact on cell behavior within the composite.

Alysse DeFoe

Biological Engineering
Advisor: Jason Burdick

My research focus is on tissue engineering for meniscal injury repair. In particular, I am guiding the extracellular matrix deposition of cells via 3D printed molds to grow anisotropic meniscal tissue in the lab.  The overall goal of this work is to build implantable scaffolds to replace damaged portions of the meniscus and promote total integration with native tissue, thereby preserving knee joint function and preventing early onset osteoarthritis in patients with meniscal injuries.

Mathew Jaeschke

Biological Engineering
Advisor: Kristi Anseth
Lab: Anseth Research Group

Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells (MSCs) have immense therapeutic potential due to their secretory properties. However, MSC-derived therapeutics in the clinic are limited. My work in Professor Kristi Anseth’s lab is to utilize biomaterials to protect and control MSCs for regenerative medicine applications.

Jesús E. Meléndez Gil

Chemical Engineering
Advisors: Will Medlin and Wilson Smith

Currently focused on gaining fundamental understanding about the interactions, behavior and nature of the catalyst/ionomer interface in electrochemical systems.

Claire Niemet

Chemical Engineering
Advisor: Christopher Bowman
Lab: Bowman Research Group

I am exploring a new acrylate-forming chemistry that could be used to make controllable polymer networks. Specifically, these materials could be utilized to form degradable polymers, therefore helping to address the plastic waste issue. Alternatively, they could be used to form two-stage networks, which has the ability to change its mechanical properties with a stimulus such as light or heat.

Ritu Raj

Chemical engineering
Advisors: Ankur Gupta and C. Wyatt Shields IV
Labs: LIFE - Laboratory of Interfaces, Flow and Electrokinetics and Shields Lab

The goal of my research is to build a deeper physical understanding of how microrobots behave in complex biological environments. This is done by coupling state-of-the-art fabrication and microscopy techniques with theoretical multiphysics models. The forward-looking goal is to develop design rules that might enable scientist and engineers to build microrobots which are extremely capable in biomedical applications that currently lack effective solutions.