CEAS Goldwater Scholar Places First at Louis Stokes Conference

By:     Staci Jones
Date:  December 12, 2017

Rickey Terrell, chemical engineering student and Goldwater Scholar, receives the first place award for his poster presentation at the annual Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence Conference.

Rickey Terrell

University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) chemical engineering student, Goldwater Scholar and Emerging Ethnic Engineers (E3) student, Rickey Terrell, won first place at the annual Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence (LSMCE) Conference. This year’s conference took place from October 6-8, 2017 and was hosted by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

The Louis Stokes Midwest Center of Excellence (LSMCE) was created in 2012 to communicate best practices, tools, and information garnered from the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) consortium to a broader audience. LSMCE serves as a national hub of information for scholars to access data, models, and funding opportunities in broadening participation of underrepresented minority (URM) students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

“I felt honored to receive the first place award for the poster presentation. It was a great opportunity to represent UC’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program and to represent my research group, including Dr. Anastasios Angelopoulos, CEAS Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering Associate Professor,” says Terrell.  

Terrell presented in the engineering category on his research that involves improving the performance of fuel cells, an alternative energy system that produces electrical energy from the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen gas.

“This system has the opportunity to replace gas engines but has some technical obstacles,” says Terrell, “Because platinum is expensive, it is advantageous to minimize the amount used in the system. My research project involved creating a new method to observe the structural changes that occur during platinum nanoparticle synthesis. I accomplished this using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and computer simulations.”

Developing a new method is what Terrell feels made him standout among competitors. He reflects, “Thanks to the lessons of graduate students in the laboratory and Dr. Angelopoulos, I have a good understanding of the theory behind our research. I was able to use this understanding to create an entirely new approach that has both immediate and long-term utility.”

In addition to the student poster presentations at the LSMCE Conference, several STEM professionals from across the country shared their experiences in STEM careers and various workshops were offered to prepare students for the next steps in their careers (graduate school, industry employment, etc.).

For future implications, Terrell looks forward to applying his research to create new alternative energy technologies. He states that these types of technologies can help decrease CO2 emissions and lead to a more sustainable society that depends on clean energy sources instead of the fossil fuels that are currently used.

In achieving such an accomplishment, Terrell would like to thank Dr. Angelopoulos for mentoring him throughout his research and Dr. Theresa Ramelot from Miami University for her help in his research as well.