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Winners of Eastman Chemical Graduate Student Award Announced

Award recognizes work in sustainable materials chemical sciences

The winners of the 8th annual Eastman Chemical Graduate Student Award program have been announced. Prizes were awarded to the top three presentations in the area of sustainable materials chemical sciences.

This year's winners are:

Alex Levine, first prize, $1,500 - Levine works in Dr. Christopher Nomura's group in ESF's chemistry department. His research focuses on production of and applications for modified bacterial polyesters.

Scott Bergey, second prize, $1,000 - Bergey works in Dr. Arthur Stipanovic's group, also in the chemistry department. His research focuses on the use of near-infrared spectroscopy as a means for high-throughput analysis of biomass composition.

Chris Woods, third prize, $500 - Woods works in Dr. Thomas Amidon's group in the paper and bioprocess engineering department. His research focuses on the breakdown of hemicelluloses into platform chemicals such as furfural and acetic acid.

The award program was hosted by the Cellulose Research Institute at ESF.

The panel of judges included two scientists from Eastman Chemical's main research center in Kingsport, Tenn. Dr. Jacob Goodrich received a Ph.D. in chemistry from ESF in 2007. He also won a summer internship from Eastman in 2006. At Eastman, Goodrich originally worked in process chemistry but recently has taken on a new role and is leading a large group of scientists working on polymer coatings. The other judge from Eastman was Dr. Lisa Gibson, an advanced process development chemist, who joined the company in 2011 after obtaining her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.