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NREL Interns Take Three First Place SERCh Awards

December 20, 2010

The SERCh competition, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), showcases research projects of DOE-funded undergraduate students and interns at the national laboratories. One-hundred student researchers competed in six categories: Energy, Physical Science, Life Science, Engineering and Computational Science, and Environmental Science. Student researchers selected as the 1st place posters receive scholarships worth $3,000. In the Energy category, Dana Sulas received first place for her evaluation of organic solar materials. Sulas, a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was mentored by NREL's Brian Gregg with the National Bioenergy Center. James Young received first place recognition in the Physical Science category for his research into amorphous mixed metal oxides for photoelectrochemical water splitting. Young, a student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was mentored by NREL's Todd Deutsch with the Hydrogen Technologies and Systems Center. Luis Martinez took the first place slot in the Engineering and Computational Science category for his research into wind turbine modeling for computational fluid dynamics. Martinez, a student at the University of Puerto Rico, was mentored by NREL's Matt Churchfield with the National Wind Technology Center. In addition, research papers submitted by Avery Lindeman, Harvard University, and Martinez were selected by a DOE merit review committee to be published in DOE's Journal of Undergraduate Research. They will present at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Poster Session in February 2011 in Washington, D.C. Lindeman will present "Surface Passivation of III-V Photoelectrochemical Water-Splitting Electrodes by Nitridation" in the Chemistry division. Martinez will present his findings in the Environmental Science division.