oil in water

Getting to the next level in polymer science

Winning DOE Award gives polymer science student opportunity to delve deeper into nanoparticle liquid experiments and work with leading experts 

February 14, 2020

Zachary Marc Fink, Ph.D. student and polymer scientist in Thomas Russell’s lab, received the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s 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.” 


Zachary FinkDOE 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 LaboratoryIn addition to propelling my thesis research forwardthis 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 a stiffly-reviewed proposal. He will be doing work with 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. 

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