Goldwater Scholar: Brian Perea
Junior chemical engineering major Brian Perea was one of four Arizona State University students to be awarded a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the nation’s premier award for students studying mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.
Perea says the opportunity to conduct research early in his undergraduate experience was a significant factor in his decision to attend ASU. He was accepted in his freshman year into the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) program.
Perea is working on a project with Lenore Dai, associate professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, involving “smart materials” that have unique properties—including properties that can change in reaction to the environment.
His work, in collaboration with a graduate student, has been published in Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. He has given a presentation on the work at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers national meeting.
Perea recently completed his fifth semester in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative program. He says it has opened up several opportunities. For one, the research experience helped qualify him for the Goldwater Scholarship.
The FURI experience has led to research opportunities outside ASU. He was accepted to the Research Experience for Undergraduates at the University of Colorado at Boulder. That work in turn led to his second presentation at an American Institute of Chemical Engineers meeting.