Chemistry graduate student Michelle Mann named VPR fellow

Posted: March 22nd, 2017

On February 13, chemistry graduate student Michelle Mann competed with over 35 other graduate students across the University for a spot in the Vice President for Research Fellowship program. In just three short minutes, Mann summarized her work to a team of judges from across the University. Mann’s presentation, “Harnessing the Power of Plasma for Clean Water: Improved antibacterial materials for separations”, combines materials, analytical, and biological chemistry to improve materials for separations, such as membrane filters for drinking water purification. She would accomplish this using the power of plasma, or the fourth state of matter, to change membrane surface chemistry such that they are easily cleaned and a greater volume of water can permeate the filter.  In addition to their utility to tailor material surface properties for improved performance, Mann has also found that she can use plasma processing to impart antibacterial properties so filtered water is free of microorganisms.  Ultimately this means resources go towards providing lasting clean water to more areas affected by water shortage, rather than replacing filters that fail after bacterial growth on the material surface.  Thus far, one way Mann has achieved this is through designing and optimizing an antibacterial essential-oil based plasma coating that can be applied to a variety of substrates to discourage bacterial growth and biofilm formation, including filters for drinking water purification and hemodialysis, as well as biomaterials, such as those used for blood transport and wound dressings.

Mann joins the VPR Fellowship Cohort with 13 other participants who were all awarded with $4,000 in scholarship and travel support. She will also have the opportunity to participate in professional development workshops, mentorships, engagement opportunities and leadership over the 2017-18 academic year. This fall, she hopes to present her latest findings at the American Vacuum Society 64th International Symposium and Exhibition in Tampa, FL.

The VPR Graduate Fellows Program at Colorado State University was created by the Vice President for Research to support excellence in graduate research and to promote interdiscplinarity at the University by engaging the best and brightest students from graduate programs across the institution. To find out more about the VPR Fellows Program, please click here.

Congratulations Michelle!!

You can read the full article about the event at SOURCE.