Kara Fong ’16, a Stanford senior and chemical engineering major, is one of 15 students from across the nation to be awarded the prestigious Churchill Scholarship, which will allow her to pursue a master’s degree in material sciences and metallurgy at the University of Cambridge next year.
The Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States grants the award annually to students passionate about science, mathematics and engineering in an attempt to promote scientific exchange between the United States and the United Kingdom.
With the funding provided by the award, Fong plans to conduct research on polymer-based supercapacitors, an energy storage technology that has major potential for application in novel electronics.
According to the Stanford News, chemistry has always been a mesmerizing topic for Fong, and she views it as a channel through which she can improve society.
“Chemical processes form the basis for a myriad of energy technologies that we use daily,” Fong told the Stanford News. “Now, as I look towards graduate school and my ultimate goal of professorship, my aim is to use a fundamental understanding of these chemical systems to improve the ways in which we produce and store energy.”
Fong’s love for chemistry has developed through a variety of extracurricular activities that have allowed her to explore her own interests and help others uncover a passion for chemistry.
Fong has been especially effective in working with undergraduate engineers. She is the co-chair of a peer advising program that hosts tutoring events for first- and second-year engineering students and serves as a TA for CHEMENG 20: “Introduction to Chemical Engineering” and CHEMENG 12SC: “An Exploration of Art Materials: the Intersection of Art and Science.”
In 2014, she was named a Goldwater Scholar in Mathematics, Science, and Technology. Fong has also conducted research as a member of the Thomas F. Jaramillo Research Group and as a research intern at the Jülich Research Center in Germany.
Now, Fong is excited to continue her development in the field.
“I am thrilled to go to Cambridge next year and make the most out of the incredible scientific and cultural opportunities provided by the Churchill Scholarship,” Fong said.
Contact Pascale Eenkema van Dijk at pevd ‘at’ stanford.edu.