Raymond and Roman Santiago receive NSF Fellowships
Chemical and biomolecular engineering graduate students Darien Raymond and Anaira Roman Santiago, both advised by professor Xiao Su, were selected for the 2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The five-year fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported STEM disciplines.
The NSF program aims to help ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the U.S. by providing three years of financial support for students who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements. Each year, up to 13,000 students apply for the prestigious fellowship; in 2022, the NSF offered 2,193 awards.
The Su research group develops advanced materials for molecularly selective separations and process intensification for energy, environment, and chemical manufacturing applications. “The NSF GRFP program offers a wonderful opportunity for my students to benefit from the professional development opportunities and a community of bright scholars who have a long history of making a true societal impact,” Su said.
Raymond’s interests include electrochemical separations and the development of porous materials for separation processes. He graduated from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a minor in computational statistics, where he worked on biodegradable block copolymers and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for biosensing with professor Timothy Brenza. Through the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (NSF REU) program, he also worked on nanostructured polymerized ionic liquids with professor Allan Guymon at the University of Iowa and on MOFs for gas separation with professor Xeuyi Zhang at Pennsylvania State University. Through the NSF GRFP, he seeks to pursue directions in critical materials recovery and waste recycling using electrochemical approaches.
Roman Santiago’s work is focused on developing effective electrochemical systems for water decontamination and environmental applications, focusing on the remediation of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, where she studied the transport and destination of contaminants in groundwater with professor Ingrid Padilla and explored the synthesis of MOFs wastewater treatment with professor Hernández-Rivera. She also participated in the NSF REU program exploring graphene oxide membranes for water treatment at the University of South Carolina and in wind speed up with professor Forrest Masters at the University of Florida.
As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. Graduate Research Fellows have become Nobel Prize laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and other influential members of the scientific community.