Chemical Engineering Student
When I was 14, following a life-long passion for science, I began an internship at the BYU Simmons Center For Cancer Research where I learned synthetic organic chemistry and audited undergraduate classes in my free time. My research focused on the total synthesis of anti-cancer and anti-viral compounds structurally related to DPT, or deoxypodophyllotoxin, led by then graduate student Diana Saavedra PhD under Dr. Merritt Andrus.
I was accepted to BYU when I was 16 and began studying chemistry. Shortly thereafter, I joined a startup, which was funded by my youth group leader, and held 1/3 ownership with the goal of building a supercritical extractor to separate out the oils and medicinal compounds from the hemp plant. I succeeded in building an extractor for a total of $30,000 which matched the processing capacity of a commercial extractor starting at $145,000. I then applied my knowledge in synthetic organic chemistry to create a process to convert the extracted material into a different compound with more than 10x the value. This experience inspired me to change my major to chemical engineering.
Over the following summer, I worked at my Dad's piano business where he asked me create an electroplating process for piano parts. Old piano hardware such as pedals, hinges, and screws were previously sent to a third-party electroplating company which required three months or more. I converted a back room of the piano rebuilding shop into a lab which enabled parts to be returned within a single day rather than months and ensured quality control.
I believe that the future of humanity is very bright and I look forward to seeing and participating in the technological innovations that will occur in the next century. The development of science and technology helping to create a better world and worlds for everyone is what motivates me to learn and work hard. By using the skills that I am currently developing, I hope to take part in shaping this future where humanity may grow to levels unimaginable by us today.