Purdue students win national Goldwater Scholarships

April 23, 2015  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University juniors Ben Helfrecht and Sam Otto are new 2015 Goldwater Scholars.

Nicholas Pogranichniy, who won the award last year as a sophomore, is also a 2015 Goldwater Scholar. Dalton Chaffee, a sophomore studying electrical engineering, received a 2015 Goldwater Honorable Mention.

The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was established by Congress in 1986. It awards up to $7,500 toward tuition, fees and board to sophomores and juniors pursuing research careers in science, mathematics or engineering.

Ben Helfrech

Ben Helfrecht 
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Goldwater Scholarship recipients are undergraduates who conduct research in their fields and show promise for the future. Students pursuing the scholarship participate in a university-wide nomination process through Purdue's National and International Scholarships Office, housed in the Honors College. Only four Purdue students each year are nominated for the national competition. The heart of their applications is an an-depth research proposal on projects they will pursue.

Sam Otto

Sam Otto 
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Helfrecht of Batavia, Illinois, studies materials science in the School of Materials Engineering and the Honors College. He researches atomic mechanisms at work in electronic materials and how these mechanisms influence material properties and behavior. This basic research has the potential to accelerate development of new kinds of computer memory or energy conversion devices. Helfrecht has conducted research at Purdue in two different groups, with Alejandro Strachnan, professor of materials engineering, and Kendra Erk, assistant professor of materials engineering.

Nicholas Pogranichniy

Nicholas Pogranichniy 
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Otto is from Pittsburgh and has conducted research at the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics with Gregory Blaisdell, professor aeronautics and astronautics, and as an intern at NASA's Glenn Research Center. Otto conducts theoretical research in turbulence and computational physics in order to understand how and why turbulence arises in nature. His research aims to have an impact on controlling jet noise, combustion and atmospheric science.

Pogranichniy of West Lafayette, Indiana, is a biochemistry major in the College of Science. He has worked with Garth Simpson, professor of analytical and physical chemistry, on photon-counting imaging detectors that will improve optical imaging.

Dalton Chaffee

Dalton Chaffee 
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Chaffee of Knoxville, Tennessee, is an electrical engineering major in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Honors College. Chaffee researches with Peter Bermel, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, in Purdue's Birck Nanotechnology Center on modeling thin-film solar cells. His plans include the development of high efficiency and economically feasible solar cells that will provide a solid alternative to fossil fuels. 

 

Media contact: Asia Thomas, Purdue Honors College, arthomas@purdue.edu

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