Brendan Butler

Hometown: South Bend, Indiana
Major: Chemical Engineering
Minor: Global Studies

Brendan Butler embarked on a Fulbright scholarship to Italy, where he worked with scholars at the Politecnico di Milano’s Laboratory of Applied Physical Chemistry. His research was on a biomaterial-coated microbot to control the release rate and location of drug delivery, which could potentially decrease negative side effects of traditional oral medications. Butler, who graduated from Purdue in 2019 with a BS in Chemical Engineering, says, “Medicinal research is an inherently egalitarian science—it strives to benefit all humans and solve common physiological problems.”

Butler credits his middle school international tennis club with jump-starting his interest in international collaboration, noting that “I didn’t wish for a new racquet—I asked for Rosetta Stone to learn Greek. By the time I reached high school, I was able to converse with my friends in their native language and connect with the local Greek community—and it was an unparalleled feeling. This experience gave me a sense of the strength and foundation that multicultural perspectives bring to any circumstance.”

He was a member of GEARE (Global Engineering Alliance for Research and Education) at Purdue, which led him to intern for Eli Lilly &Co. in Suzhou, China. While in China, working with an international team of Italian and Chinese engineers, Butler got to observe the way that sharing an experience, like eating xiaolongbao dumplings together, “could help my coworkers bridge their differences and pave the way towards conversation and understanding.”

He plans to pursue graduate school after completing the Fulbright program.

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