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6 chemistry students return from 10-week research experience in Taiwan

Six WKU students have returned from a 10-week summer research experience at the National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) in Taichung, Taiwan.

Six WKU students participated in a 10-week program this summer at National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) in Taichung, Taiwan. From left, at Freedom Plaza in Taipei, are Linda Cruz, Amy Ni, Hillary Asberry, Elijah Ernst, Justin Wellum, John Biechele Speziale and NCHU student Frank Lin.

The students — Linda Cruz, a Gatton Academy student from Carrollton; John Biechele Speziale, a Gatton Academy student from Grayson; Amy Ni, a junior from Bowling Green; Hillary Asberry, a junior from Lancaster; Elijah Ernst, a senior from Hodgenville; and Justin Wellum, a junior from Louisville — worked on chemistry and chemical engineering research projects that included using bamboo particles to remove toxic metal ions, electrochemical capacitors and switchable surfaces.

The WKU group worked closely with faculty mentors and students at the Chemical Engineering Department at NCHU. They gave oral presentations twice at NCHU during their stay. They also visited many historic and cultural areas of Taiwan, including Taipei, Kenting National Park and Sun Moon Lake.

The project is funded through a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation’s Office of International Science and Engineering. Students are provided a stipend and airfare through this grant. Because WKU is a sister university with NCHU, NCHU provides WKU students free housing.

Dr. Eric Conte, WKU chemistry professor and the principal investigator, who joined the students for part of their stay, has been collaborating with faculty at the NCHU for the past seven years through these grants. The students will present their results at regional and national meetings in the United States.

Contact: Eric Conte, (270) 745-6019.

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