Chemistry and Biochemistry

Student Awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship

Posted: Oct 19, 2011

Only 17 applicants nationwide are selected to receive the Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Research Award and this year Jared Clark, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is one of the seventeen.

“I am naturally very thrilled about being selected to receive this award,” Clark said via email. “I get to do what I've always been interested in doing.”

Thanks to the fellowship, Clark has already started working at the National Renewable Energy Laboratories in Colorado and will continue to work there for the next two years. Under the guidance of Dr. David Robichaud, he is studying the decomposition of cellulose under high temperatures using both computational and experimental methods as well as the development of new Fischer-Tropsch catalysts. Fischer-Tropsch catalysts convert syngas into various forms of liquid hydrocarbons, Clark said. Hydrocarbons are found in petroleum and contain usable energy.

Dr. Jaron Hansen, Clark’s PhD supervisor at BYU, highlighted Clark’s research skills and experience as a major part of what makes him “competitive in the marketplace after graduation” and a good candidate for EERE.

“I am delighted that Jared was awarded this prestigious fellowship,” Dr. Hansen said in an email. “He worked hard to put together a strong proposal that was both innovative and ‘completable’. His work over the next three years will aid in the development of better catalysts to produce liquid fuels from renewable energy sources.”

Clark has been studying chemistry at BYU for five and a half years, the majority of which has been with Dr. Hansen. The Pocatello, Idaho native became interested in alternate energy as an undergraduate and came to BYU because he was interested the research the chemistry faculty were doing. Clark said BYU definitely helped further his education and career.

“I met my NREL mentor through contacts made while at BYU,” he said. “The entirety of my Ph.D. training, advised by Dr. Jaron Hansen, uniquely prepared me for my NREL duties.”

Clark will receive his PhD in chemistry this December.

By Jessica Henrie