Smalley-Curl Institute honors top posters, presentations at summer colloquium

Smalley-Curl InstitutePrizes were awarded to graduate and undergraduate students judged to have the best presentations and posters at the Smalley-Curl Institute’s third annual Summer Research Colloquium Aug. 11 in Duncan Hall. The winners were chosen from more than 75 graduate and postdoctoral students and more than 50 undergraduate students, as well as students in both the Nakatani Research and International Experiences for Students program and other visiting undergraduate scholars working in labs at Rice for the summer. Each award came with a $250 prize. For more details about the awards, visit 

Graduate student oral presentations  

John J. Fannaly Innovative Research Award (six recipients): Logan Bishop for “Assessing the Effects of Adsorption Site Clustering for Chromatographic Separations”; Carlos de los Reyes for “Chemical Decoration of Boron Nitride Nanotubes with Aliphatic Carbon Chains”; Benjamin Clark for “Catalytic Role of Titanium in the Synthesis of Aluminum Nanocrystals”; Thomas Heiderscheit for “Spectral Response of Plasmonic Gold Nanoparticles to Capacitive Charging: Morphology Effects”; Nicholas Moringo for “Protein Transport Dynamics at Polymeric Interfaces: A Single Molecule Study”; and Yu Zheng for “Quenching of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotube Fluorescence by Dissolved Oxygen Reveals Selective Single-Stranded DNA Affinities.”

Smalley-Curl Institute Award: Yuefei Huang for “Borophene Polymorphs for Visible Range Plasmonics – A First-Principles Exploration.”

Rice Center for Engineering Leadership Award (two recipients): Jian Yang for “Plasmonic Nanoparticles Accelerate Laser Curing of Thermoset Epoxies” and Shu Tian for “Aluminum Nanocrystals: A Sustainable Substrate for Quantitative SERS-based DNA Detection.” 

Undergraduate posters 

Light Conversion Award (two recipients): Savannah Cofer for “Patterning Vertically Aligned Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes” and Joshua Yang for “WSe2 Thin-Film Growth by Molecular Beam Epitaxy and Electric Double-Layer Transistor Implementation.”

Rice University School of Natural Sciences Award: Evan Biggers for “Phase Behavior of CNT Liquid Crystalline Solutions and Solution Processing Into Capacitive Pressure Sensors.” 

Graduate poster session awards

Light Conversion Award: David Renard for “Water-Stable Aluminum Nanocrystals.”

Rice University School of Engineering Award: Yiyuan Ben Yin for “Selective Sensing and Simultaneous Removal Chromium (VI) in Water Using Fluorescent Nanogold.”

About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.