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UGA's Dewey selected as DOE outstanding graduate student

Alan Flurry

University of Georgia student Nicholas Dewey is one of 60 graduate students representing 26 states selected for the Department of Energy's Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. Through world-class training and access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources at DOE National Laboratories, SCGSR prepares graduate students to enter jobs of critical importance to the DOE mission and secures our national position at the forefront of discovery and innovation.

Dewey, a doctoral student in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences department of chemistry, will continue his training at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, near Chicago. He will be conducting research alongside Dr. Stephen J. Klippenstein, Argonne Distinguished Fellow of Theoretical Chemistry.

At UGA, Dewey is part of the research group led by Brandon Rotavera, associate professor with a joint appointment in the Franklin College department of chemistry and the College of Engineering. Dewey's research focuses on emerging scientific challenges in the area of experimental and computational physical chemistry related to advancing the adoption of sustainable biofuels. His experimental work contributes basic science knowledge derived from quantification of chemical species that provide boundary conditions for computational models utilized in the design of high-efficiency combustion systems. Specifically, his work focuses on gas-phase reaction mechanisms and chemical kinetics of cyclic ethers, which are important intermediates in combustion. 

“I am very proud of Nick and the scholastic accomplishments that he has attained during his doctoral studies," Rotavera said. "He is an extraordinarily bright and exceptionally motivated researcher who is eager to learn and eager to teach and mentor others as well.”

The Rotavera group focuses on uncovering complex reaction mechanisms in combustion, research designed to make a significant and immediate impact on sustainable transportation energy objectives.

"I am honored to receive the SCGSR award and am excited for the opportunity to work on my dissertation with one of the leading researchers in our field," Dewey said. "I know that this experience will have a positive impact on my career once I graduate from UGA. My research experiences in the Rotavera group allowed me to apply for this award and I thank Dr. Rotavera for his mentorship throughout my time at UGA." 

At Argonne National Laboratory, Dewey will be developing detailed computer models that describe the chemistry of cyclic ethers, which are critical intermediates in low-temperature combustion. This work will lead to high-fidelity predictions of ignition in practical combustion simulations for the implementation of biofuels in the transportation sector. 

"The work Nick is focused on will positively impact ongoing efforts to lower the carbon intensity of the transportation sector in the United States and globally," Rotavera said.


Image: Nicholas Dewey (UGA Photo)




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