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Manh Nguyen Receives Two Prestigious DOE Awards

May 17, 2022

Manh Tien Nguyen, a graduate student in Chemical Engineering, was selected for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program and the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Energy Storage Internship Program.

Nguyen is among 80 graduate students nationwide to receive supplemental funds to conduct part of their thesis research at a host DOE laboratory in collaboration with a DOE scientist.

Through world-class training and access to state-of-the-art facilities, SCGSR prepares graduate students to enter jobs of critical importance to the DOE mission and secures the U.S. position at the forefront of discovery and innovation.

"For decades, the DOE has cultivated the expertise to meet the nation's greatest scientific challenges. Now more than ever, we need to invest in a diverse, talented pipeline of scientists, engineers and entrepreneurs who will be this country's future science and innovation leaders," said Geraldine Richmond, undersecretary of science and innovation at the DOE. "I'm thrilled these outstanding students will help us tackle critical research at our labs, and I know their futures are bright."

Nguyen will be working in the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). He will work with DOE Scientist Yuhua Duan on his research area, "Basic Science for Clean Energy and Decarbonization."

"It is an honor to receive this prestigious award, which supports my research proposal to advance the foundational understanding of the chemical reaction and transport mechanism at air-solvent interfaces to develop novel direct air capture technology using deep eutectic solvents," Nguyen said. "The research will be an exciting opportunity to enhance my scientific knowledge and research conducting skills in machine learning-molecular simulation integration, chemisorption mechanisms, and the relationship of solvation, transport, and reactivity of molecules and ions in heterogeneous environments. The award is an invaluable experience as I will not only do research but also make professional connections in my field, which will prepare me for future endeavors."

Nguyen has also been accepted into the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy (EERE) Energy Storage Internship Program hosted at NETL this summer. This program is sponsored by the DOE Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO).

Nguyen's project for the EERE internship is to "build a quantum computing framework to calculate the vibrational properties of bosonic systems for energy applications."

“Predicting the properties of complex chemicals can take many hours and weeks traditional computers," said Thomas Dziubla, chair of the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. "The power of Quantum computing will allow these predictions to be made in a matter of minutes or seconds.  This holds the promise of revolutionizing the way we study and design new chemicals.”