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SUNY-ESF Students Win Awards

Work in wood and cellulose chemistry recognized

SYRACUSE - The Eastman Chemical Company, along with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), recognized the research of ESF graduate students recently.

The Third Annual Eastman Chemical-ESF Graduate Student Awards were presented in November. First place went to Mangesh Goundalkar, bioprocess engineering, for his work on "Non-carbohydrate products from wood." Goundalkar was awarded $1,500 for his work.

Runners up, who each received $750, were Dipankar Kanungo, bioprocess engineering, and Chengjun Zhu, environmental and forest biology. Their presentations were "An investigation of repolymerization reactions of lignin under alkaline conditions" and "Effects of nucleating agents on the mechanical properties of poly-3-hydroxybutyrate and poly-3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate" respectively.

Competitors made oral presentations to a panel of judges from Eastman Chemical Co. and ESF. Representing the Eastman Chemical Company were Curtis Schilling and Jacob Goodrich (chemistry '07); from ESF were Dr. Arthur Stipanovic, chair of the Department of Chemistry, and Dr. William Winter, chemistry professor and director of the Cellulose Research Institute.

The annual competition is part of Eastman's recognition of ESF as a "Focus School" in wood and cellulose chemistry. The competition is open to graduate students working in an area related to cellulose and other renewable resources. Eastman has been involved with ESF for many years and was one of the founding sponsors of the Cellulose Research Institute at the college in 1957. Since then the company has continued to hire ESF science and engineering students and support others through summer internships and related programs.