Monday, July 14, 2014


Scientists and engineers in the U.S. increasingly need to be able to collaborate, cooperate and communicate with their peers around the world. To help prepare today’s graduate students to be successful in this era of globalization, the National Science Foundation (NSF) created the Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) program.

The program – provided in partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development – awards NSF Fellows with an international travel allowance to engage in collaborations with leading researchers and facilities around the world. Fellows submit a lengthy application – including an explanation of how the international collaboration will enhance the Fellow’s professional network, as well as how the proposed research fits into the Fellow’s graduate degree program and career goals.

Five U of M graduate students submitted applications, and, in a reportedly strong competition, all five received awards. Congratulations to the winners!

Katherine Fornash, Ph.D. student in Earth Sciences

  • Project Title: Fluid-Rock Interaction at the Slab-Mantle Interface: Insights from the High Pressure Rocks of the Tavsanli Zone
  • Advisor: Donna Whitney
  • Host Institution: Australian National University

Tessie Panthani, Ph.D. student in Chemical Engineering

  • Project Title: Investigation of Enhanced Extensional Behavior of Sustainable Mu/tiblock
  • Copolymers
  • Advisor: Frank Bates
  • Host Institution: Kyoto University in Japan

Leanne Reich, Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering

  • Project Title: Characterization of a Solar-Driven Reactor for C02 Capture via CaO
  • Carbonation
  • Co-advisors: Terrence Simon and Wojciech Lipinski
  • Host Institution: Australian National University

Christopher Roberts, Ph.D. student in Chemistry

  • Project Title: Computational Investigation of Highly Reduced Organometallics: Mechanism of Formation for Two Unprecedented Ligands at Transition Metals
  • Advisor: John Ellis
  • Host Institution: University of Jyviiskylii in Finland

Brenton Wiernik, Ph.D. student in Psychology

  • Project Title: Understanding and Promoting Environmentally Sustainable Business Practices in South Africa
  • Advisor: Deniz Ones
  • Host Institution: University of Pretoria in South Africa