A 2013 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University has been awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
For the next three years Ruth Maust ‘13 will continue her doctoral research in Professor Ramesh Jasti’s lab in the University of Oregon’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. As a fellow, she will receive an annual stipend, education allowance for tuition and fees, and opportunities for international research and professional development.
Maust researches the incorporation of “carbon nanohoop” molecules into polymers and materials, essentially “making new molecular structures, then studying their properties, and figuring out how to design materials with the properties we want.” Carbon nanohoops, she said, “have surprisingly different properties than the analogous linear molecules, making them fascinating as potential sensors, membranes, organic light-emitting diodes, and environmental remediation agents – to name a few!”
“I love that chemistry combines logical thinking and creativity,” she said. “It’s also really cool to be able to make molecules and materials that have never existed before.”
Named an “outstanding chemistry student” her senior year as a chemistry major at EMU – “definitely give a shoutout to Tara Kishbaugh and Matt Siderhurst!” she wrote in a recent email – Maust completed a materials chemistry lab internship at the Graz University of Technology in Austria.
After graduating, she worked at the Green Building Alliance for a year through the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE).
Following earning her PhD in 2021, Maust plans “to work on developing and translating sustainable chemistry solutions for the chemical, consumer products, building materials or other industries.”