The NanoDivision's Student Award recognizes current students or students within one year post graduation for their research contributions related to renewable nanomaterials and service to the NanoDivision and other professional societies. The NanoDivision’s awards committee assess each nominee with respect to novelty & impact of research contributions, Impact on community, contributions to the NanoDivision, and the number & quality of publications.
University of Strathclyde
Sara Velasquez did her bachelor degree in materials engineering at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil and her Master degree in materials science at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. She is currently finishing her PhD at the Sustainable Functional Polymers Research Group at the Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany and University of Strathclyde, Scotland under the supervision of Prof. Nico Bruns. Her PhD is part of the Partnerships for International Research and Education (PIRE): Bioinspired Materials and Systems research collaboration between Swiss and US institutions. She has been heavily involved in several collaborations including with LaShanda Korley from University of Delaware and Prof. Andre Studart at ETH Zurich. Her research focuses on the Tailoring of Mechanical properties of Amphiphilic Polymer Conetworks (APCNs) through the use of peptides and Cellulose Nanocrystals (CNCs) and its potential applications. Sara has been part of the Tappi Nano Student committee since January 2020, where she has served as Chair. Sara is passionate about science outreach at different age levels and she ran outreach activities in different countries such as Honduras (Central America), Brazil and Switzerland and United Kingdom.
Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg
Gwendoline Delepierre is finishing her PhD in the Polymer Chemistry and Materials group at the Adolphe Merkle Institute, University of Fribourg, Switzerland under the supervision of Prof. Justin O. Zoppe and Prof. Christoph Weder. During her PhD, she did a one-year exchange in the Cranston Research Group at the University of British Columbia. Her research focusses on the cellulose nanocrystal allomorphs and their reducing-end group modification. Gwenn has further been part of the Nano Student Committee since 2020 serving as Engagement Chair.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Priya finished her Ph.D with Dr. Johan Foster, in the Macromolecular Science and Engineering program at Virginia Tech. Priya recently accepted a job at 3M. Priya has been part of the Nano Student Committee since 2017 serving as Student Engagement Subcommittee Chair and later as Student Committee Co-Chair. Priya also received the 1st Place poster award at the TAPPI Nano 2019 conference for her research titled, Developing Polyamide/Cellulose Nanocomposites for Industrial-Scale Processing.
Kevin De France
Kevin De France is a PhD Candidate in Chemical Engineering at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. He is co-supervised by Dr. Todd Hoare and Dr. Emily Cranston, and his research interests center around the design of structured cellulose nanocrystal based hydrogels for biomedical applications. After finishing his PhD, he will start a Post Doc with Dr. Gustav Nyström at Empa - Swiss Federal Laboratories in Switzerland. Kevin is an active member of the TAPPI Nano community, attending conferences in Grenoble, Montreal, and Madison, and is a co-founder of the TAPPI Nano Student Committee where he currently holds an Emeritus leadership position.
Nathan C. Ellebracht
Nathan Ellebracht is a PhD candidate finishing his fourth year in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering department at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is funded by and works closely with the Renewable Bioproducts Institute (RBI) of Georgia Tech and works in the research group of Prof. Christopher Jones. He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley before moving to Georgia Tech for his PhD. He has had the fortunate opportunity to attend four years of TAPPI Nano conferences, starting in Atlanta in 2015. Within Georgia Tech and beyond he has been strongly involved in the nanocellulose community, helping start the Cellulose Nanomaterials at Georgia Tech ([email protected]) group, being a co-founding board member and current co-chair of the TAPPI Nano Student Committee, and more.