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Doctoral students net Polyolefins scholarships

Lamar Ph.D. students, Xi Zhang and Qingliang He, recently received prestigious scholarships sponsored by Polyolefin of Society of Plastics Engineers.  The scholarships include a cash award of $1,000 and cover the cost of registration, meals and lodging.

Scholarship winnerThis year’s conference, held on Feb. 25 in Houston, saw the highest attendance in a decade with more than 600 attendees including 225 exhibitors and more than 50 college students from across Texas. Students presented 19 posters on varying topics in plastics, and six scholarships were awarded. The conference’s theme was “The Polyolefin Renaissance” and included a plenary session as well as the presentation of 85 technical papers.

Zhang, awarded the conference scholarship in the thermoplastic materials and foams division, received her master’s degree in material science and processing from South China University of Technology in 2010. She has published several papers in prestigious journals like Chemical Communication, Journal of Physical Chemistry, Polymer and Journal of Materials Chemistry. In addition, Zhang received one of the two honorable mention awards given at the poster contest.

He, awarded in the polymer modifiers and additives division, received his master’s degree in safety engineering at the University of Science and Technology of China. He also did three-year research at the University of Georgia before coming to Lamar as a Ph.D. student in July 2011. He has published several research papers in esteemed journals including Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Chemical Communications and Macromolecules since he came to Lamar. He has been acknowledged by the Society of Plastics Engineers, and Chinese-American Chemical Society Southwest Chapter, receiving several prestigious awards and scholarships. In addition, He won the first place award at the student poster competition at the Polyolefins Conference 2012.

Both Zhang and He are research students in the Lamar Integrated Composites Laboratory directed by assistant professor John Guo.

Guo see them as very talented students. “Xi Zhang can think carefully and independently on the assigned projects and she always has some new points of view on specific project, which lead to a deeper understanding of her work,” he said. “Qingliang He is a very prudent student when it comes to scientific work; he accumulates a lot of beneficial experiences during his researches to discover and come up with new things.”