Millikin University is pleased to announce the six recipients of Institute for Science Entrepreneurship (ISE) Undergraduate Fellowships for the fall 2016 semester.
Institute for Science Entrepreneurship Fellows will work with Millikin science faculty and/or current science ventures in central Illinois on a specific project or assist with operations of the Institute. The students will also present their work to an external audience.
Fellows receive $500 over the course of the semester for performing a project that entails 40-50 hours of work during the semester.
“The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship is proud to have six student recipients of ISE Undergraduate Fellowships this fall,” said Dr. David Horn, Millikin professor of biology and co-founder of the Institute. “These students will be performing a diverse set of projects ranging from how cryogenic treatment can enhance the reliability of electrical devices to advances in 3D-printing.”
The six recipients are as follows: Takunda Jakachira, a sophomore physics major from Harare, Zimbabwe; Whitley Sapp, a sophomore physics major from Decatur, Ill.; Hunter Somers, a junior physics major from Heyworth, Ill.; Andrea West, a junior physics major from Decatur; Natalie Mendez, a senior marketing major from Burr Ridge, Ill.; and Adam Peters, a junior chemistry major from Decatur.
“At 300 Below, we will examine the impacts of cryogenic treatment upon the efficiency of transformers and solar cells and upon the wear resistance and longevity of wind turbine gearbox bearings,” Dr. Watson said. “These students are taking on several exciting projects that are potentially world-changing – both in terms of their environmental and financial implications.”
Whitley Sapp will be continuing the work that he did in summer 2016 as an ISE Summer Undergraduate Fellow with the Dunn Company for their Cold-in-Place Recycling Program.
Whereas the transformer and gearbox bearing projects are being handled by the ISE alone, the solar cell project is a joint venture between the ISE and four students from the Millikin University Center for Entrepreneurship: Grace Ganley, a sophomore business major from Decatur; Aric Hopp, a senior entrepreneurship major from Lincoln, Ill.; Estefano Martinez, a sophomore business major from Zionsville, Ind.; and Daniel Rivera, a sophomore business major from Franksville, Wis. The students are working in two teams under the direction of Dr. Watson and Julie Shields, director of Millikin University’s Center for Entrepreneurship. They will submit their findings on transformers and solar cells as entries into the Lemelson-MIT Student Prize Competition, which provides $10,000 to $15,000 to the winners.
These students are taking on several exciting projects that are potentially world-changing – both in terms of their environmental and financial implications.
Natalie Mendez will be working with Dr. David Horn to coordinate the Institute’s Science Entrepreneurship Speaker Series, and will be leading efforts to implement social media to increase awareness of the Institute, and promote its events.
“As an ISE Fellow, I’m in charge of the branding of the Institute,” Mendez says. “The ISE is very useful in terms of professional development and as a business student that is very important to me. I also think the ISE offers transferable skills for any profession especially science.”
Adam Peters will be continuing the research he performed as a Leighty Scholar this summer on 3D-printing and its importance to a wide range of scientific disciplines. Peters is working with Dr. Kyle Knust, Millikin assistant professor of chemistry.
Peters is researching how 3D-printing can be used to create electrochemical devices. Along with Lyndsay Chapman, a junior chemistry major from Peoria, Ill., Peters spent this past summer learning 3D-printing, understanding the properties and creating his own devices.
“We’ve really come a long way since we started,” Peters said. “It’s been interesting that we’ve gone from developing a cube to developing a device that has spirals. We’ve gone from creating basic structures to more detailed devices. It’s been a good experience.”
Dr. Knust noted, “The students have made quite a bit of progress and they’re doing something that right now is considered cutting-edge. There are not a lot of people trying to integrate 3D-printing and electrochemistry.”
Fellows will submit a final report of their project including a summary of accomplishments and a reflection on their experiences as a fellow.
Dr. Horn noted, “These Performance Learning opportunities have commercial applications, and will provide our students with valuable experiences as they pursue their future careers.”
The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship was originally funded by a Millikin University Performance Learning Enhancement Grant in December 2012. Since that time, the institute has been pledged or received funding and support from 300 Below Inc., Andreas Foundation through the Community Foundation of Macon County, Archer Daniels Midland Company, Brechnitz Group of Raymond James, Busey, Caterpillar Decatur, Coleman Foundation, Decatur Memorial Hospital, John Ullrich Foundation, Millikin University, National Foodworks Services, Parke Warehouses, St. Mary’s Hospital, Tate & Lyle, Wild Bird Feeding Industry, Zevacor Molecular, a private foundation and anonymous donors.
The Institute teaches courses in science entrepreneurship, oversees a Clinical Nuclear Science Program, conducts applied research with science companies and hosts a speaker series on science entrepreneurship.
For more information on the Millikin Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, visit millikin.edu/InstituteForScienceEntrepreneurship.