LAWRENCE — Two University of Kansas juniors have been chosen as recipients of prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships. The awards are the premier undergraduate recognition to honor academically gifted students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
The two winners bring KU’s total to 55 Goldwater recipients. Both winners are members of the KU Honors Program.
Congress established the Goldwater scholarship program in 1986 to honor the retired U.S. senator from Arizona. Recipients were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,000 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by their colleges and universities nationwide.
Qi Chen, Overland Park, is a junior in chemical engineering, with minors in economics and mathematics. He is the son of Rongying Wu and Guozhu Chen and a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School. He researches the application of quantum-based chemical property prediction in computational molecular design. After graduation, he intends to pursue his doctorate and establish a career as a professor at a research university.
Chen’s research adviser, Kyle Camarda, associate professor and associate dean of undergraduate programs at the School of Engineering, and Aaron Scurto, associate professor of engineering, recommended his application.
Lianna Dang is a junior majoring in chemistry. She graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and is a native of Shawnee. She is the daughter of Phu Dang and Christine Lau. Her goal is to conduct research in nanomaterials for sustainable and renewable energy after receiving a doctorate in chemistry. Dang’s application was recommended by Mikhail Barybin, associate professor of chemistry, Shenqiang Ren, assistant professor of chemistry, and R.V. Chaudhari, Dean E. Ackers Distinguished Professor of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering.