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Department of Energy Fellowship Provides Support for Grad Student

Department of Energy Fellowship Provides Support for Grad Student

College of Natural Sciences graduate student Cory Nelson has received a fellowship as part of a new U.S. Department of Energy program.

AUSTIN, Texas –– College of Natural Sciences graduate student Cory Nelson has received a fellowship as part of a new U.S. Department of Energy program.

Nelson is among 150 fellows nationwide who are to receive $50,500 a year for up to three years for tuition, living expenses and research support.

The fellowship program is designed to encourage students to pursue graduate degrees in physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, engineering, and environmental and computing science.

"This investment in the training of scientists and engineers is part of the Administration's continued effort to ensure that America has the scientific and engineering work force we need to secure our energy future and our continued economic competitiveness," said Steven Chu, secretary of the Energy Department.

Nelson works with quantum dots (semiconductors a few billionths of a meter in diameter) to increase the efficiency of photovoltaic solar cells in turning sunlight into energy. Advances in this area could double the efficiency of solar cells.

He is from Eagan, Minn., and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His adviser is Dr. Xiaoyang Zhu, a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Another University of Texas at Austin graduate student, Zachary Smith, also received the fellowship. Smith works with polymer membranes in the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Support for the program comes in part from $12.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Insight: August 2010
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