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WVU engineering student awarded funding to explore research occupational paths

A portrait of Jordan Chapman holding a test tube

Jordan Champan, a Ph.D. student in the Statler College, has been selected for the National Science Foundation’s Non-Academic Research Internship for Graduate Students (INTERN). (WVU Photo/ Paige Nesbit 2018)

A West Virginia University student has earned the opportunity to strengthen his professional and research skills by working on a collaborative, interdisciplinary project to assess means for gas separation while reducing the energy usage footprint and subsequent burden on the environment.

Story by Adrianne Uphold, Graduate Assistant 
Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Jordan Chapman, a Ph.D. student in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, has been selected for the National Science Foundation’s Non-Academic Research Internship for Graduate Students (INTERN) to work alongside Professor Cerasela Zoica Dinu’s lab in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Vanda Glezakou’s lab at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL).

“This project will allow for an existing collaboration between WVU and PNNL to come to fruition and for me, personally, will provide exposure to infrastructure otherwise not available at WVU, as well as access to a multidisciplinary team of mentors,” Chapman said.

Current work in Dinu’s group is focused on the identification and evaluation of novel materials and biomaterials that are useable in fundamental chemical processes; the implementation of these novel materials is sought after to cut emission of greenhouse gases as well as to meet myriad other sustainability benchmarks like energy requirements and waste production.

“While my graduate education and training have given me a good experience in carrying out thorough research aims as well as collaborating with peers and mentors alike, I expect that this internship will provide additional opportunities to learn new technical skills and gain competency in research areas closely related to my expertise,” Chapman said. “I'm excited at the prospect of adapting my collaborative skills to be productive in a non-academic research setting, which I'm sure will be beneficial to my professional development regardless of my chosen career path.” 

Following an initiative to prepare graduate students in STEM for success in non-academic research careers and to fill critical gaps in graduate training and education, the National Science Foundation has created awards like INTERN to provide avenues for current graduate students to explore occupation paths outside an academic research. 

This funding opportunity is envisioned to create cooperatively beneficial work environments in which graduate students can both learn a broad range of new competencies and acquire essential skills — collaborative work experience, communication within teams diverse in expertise and proficiencies, leadership and management all to translate to success regardless of career path.

"Jordan’s exposure to a dynamic workplace spanning wide ranges of studies and competencies will not only solidify his strong academic training at WVU but further, will provide him with a set of skills that will enhance his ability to tackle multifaceted career opportunities in both academic and non-academic settings." Dinu said.



Contact: Paige Nesbit
Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources
304.293.4135, Paige Nesbit

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Phone: 304-293-4135