Graduate student receives GEM fellowship

Closeup of Naseeha Cardwell
Naseeha Cardwell

Chemical engineering graduate student Naseeha Cardwell has received a National GEM Consortium fellowship.

The GEM Consortium aims to increase participation of underrepresented groups at the master’s and doctoral levels in engineering and science. The fellowship connects graduate students with national labs and companies to work with during their graduate education. About 4,000 students, including 200 who have earned doctorates, have received the fellowship in its more than 40-year history, according to their website.

Cardwell has been a GEM intern at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Originally from Des Moines, Washington, she came to WSU after receiving her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Montana State University. She has an interest in developing sustainable fuels, and her current research focus is in the area of biofuel development and using computational efforts for catalytic upgrading of biofuels. Working with Jean-Sabin McEwen, associate professor in the Gene and Linda Voiland School of Chemical Engineering and Bioengineering, Cardwell is working to improve the efficiency of catalytic processes to make biofuels more competitive with petroleum-based fuels. She is also collaborating with experimentalists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on using electric fields to mitigate the oxidation of iron-based catalysts.

“My experience and research have shown me that biofuels are a necessary part of our future,” she said. “The drop-in nature of these fuels allows us to keep our already existing infrastructure while using a more sustainable feedstock, enabling us to make long-lasting modifications to the systems we rely on.”

Cardwell hopes to pursue a career conducting research on renewable energy within the field of computational catalysis and educating others on the importance of sustainable fuel.

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