Tyler Runge–NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates
Name: Tyler Runge
Class Year: 2019
Hometown: Manassas, Virginia
Major(s): Integrated Engineerins-Chemistry
Minors or Concentrations: Mathematics
Opportunity and Year: National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Summer 2018: University of Kentucky
Project Summary: At the University of Kentucky I will be researching with the Chemical Engineering Department in the “Engineered Bioactive Interfaces and Devices” REU Program.” In particular, I will be working on developing non-covalently crosslinked temperature responsive polymeric gels for application in biomedical and environmental fields. My primary advisor at UKentucky will be Dr. Zach Hilt.
How did W&L prepare you for this opportunity? W&L has prepared me for this opportunity by enhancing my laboratory skill set and sharpening my technical writing abilities. Specifically, the organic chemistry lab techniques that I have learned will be highly applicable to the work I am doing this summer.
Why did you apply for this opportunity? I applied for this opportunity to gain research experience, but I also hope that it will help me decide what specific area of chemical engineering I wish to pursue in the future.
Post-graduation Plans: I plan on attending graduate school to obtain a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering after I graduate from W&L.
How will this opportunity help you achieve your goals? This opportunity will help me achieve these goals by providing me with valuable research and laboratory experience in my field of study. The program also gives me the chance to meet and learn from many new professors and students which will benefit me greatly.
Member of the Soccer Team,
Member of Residential Life Staff (former first-year Residential Advisor and current Community Assistant in third-year housing
TA for the Organic Chemistry Lab (start, Fall 2018)
Peer Tutor for General Chemistry and Calculus
Fundraising Chair of the Engineering Community Development Club
Member of the Robotics Club
Study abroad, Scotland (Spring 2018): the class focuses on Scottish history and theater
This will be my first formal research experience, but I have worked as an analytical chemistry laboratory assistant at Burrant Chemical (summers, 2016 & 2017), a company that provides analytical services and focuses on product development in multiple areas of the chemical industry. I was able to use several different machines in order to analyze given samples throughout the summer. Analyzing the total organic carbon in wastewater with TOC-VPW, testing copper tensile strength with a motorized test stand, analyzing gold samples with ICP-OES, and measuring absorbance of titrated solutions of nickel, lead, and tin with a UV/ViS spectrophotometer are all examples of procedures that I had to perform.