Jaclyn Curry awarded NSF Internship

Jaclyn Curry
Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Jaclyn Curry has been awarded a federally funded research internship under the NSF-INTERN program. The funds will support her for six months in an industrial lab, working on a project that will enhance her UIowa dissertation. Jaclyn will be working with the company Mari Signum, a company focused on extracting and utilizing chitin, a naturally existing biopolymer, using ionic liquids (ILs). Biopolymers such as chitin aim to substitute the need for synthetic plastics, creating less expensive and more environmentally friendly products. Mari Signum produces sustainable, high-quality chitin and chitin-based products. Their ionic liquid technology is the link between Jacnlyn’s thesis work and their industrial process, and Jaclyn will contribute by helping them develop industrial processes in lucrative markets such as plastics, agriculture, cosmetics, and medical. Jaclyn will be also involved in establishing new technology platforms/solutions and supporting the technical strategies of the company. She will work on design of experiments to accomplish technical goals and receive relevant expertise in materials chemistry, polymer interactions, and analytical methods, as well as gain understanding the influence of processing on final product properties. Jaclyn will also be exposed to business practices, whenever possible (i.e., use scientific concepts in marketing), which would not be traditionally offered in an academic setting.She will work in Mari Signum’s new R&D laboratory in Richmond VA.

The NSF Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students focuses on fostering the growth of a globally competitive and diverse research workforce and advancing the scientific and innovation skills. This program offers up to six months of funding for a graduate student to augment their research assistantships with non-academic research internship activities and training opportunities that will complement their academic research training; pursue new activities aimed at acquiring professional development experience that will enhance their preparation for multiple career pathways after graduation; and encourage the participation of graduate students from groups that have traditionally been underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise: women, persons with disabilities, African Americans/Blacks, Hispanic Americans, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, veterans, and persons from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.