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Grand Challenges Scholar, Spring 2024

Riley Seminara

Riley Seminara says he originally chose chemical engineering as a major because he was good at math and chemistry.

“I kept going because I loved learning about chemistry and how it can be harnessed and applied to real life,” Seminara says. “There are so many careers that chemical engineers can excel in, and they’re not even limited to STEM careers.”

The Chandler, Arizona, native is graduating with a degree in chemical engineering from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University as well as a degree in biochemistry from The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU.

Seminara will also graduate through the Fulton Schools as a scholar of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program.

“I enrolled in the Grand Challenge Scholars Program to better myself and develop skills to solve the great challenges that face modern day engineers,” Seminara says.

In addition to GCSP, Seminara participated in an Engineering Projects in Community Service, or EPICS, project and worked in an inorganic chemistry lab where he did research on ligand-bound metal synthesis under the supervision of Ryan Trovitch, an associate professor in ASU’s School of Molecular Sciences.

Dr. Trovitch guided me through my research, allowing me to lead my own project as an undergraduate,” Seminara says. “He was supportive and helped me to understand so many aspects of my degree field and of the world.”

Seminara has also been a process engineering intern at Intel since November 2022.

“My experience there has been incredibly eye-opening,” he says. “There is so much that goes into a working plant, and so many potential dangers that must be controlled. The work of engineers affects everyone around them, so I know that I must be thorough and careful in my future career.”

To start that career, Seminara is moving to Houston, Texas, where he will work as a controls engineer at Air Products while he pursues a graduate degree in material sciences and engineering online through ASU’s Accelerated Master’s program.

I want to explore and see where I can go with my degree,” Seminara says. “I would love to find future work on the forefront of the push for sustainability, helping solve problems by improving plastic recycling processes, making clean energy more efficient, or reducing power requirements for production factories.”

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ spring 2024 class here.

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