UCR Graduate Student Headed to Oak Ridge National Lab

Victor Fung is a graduate student in chemistry.

Victor Fung, a graduate student in chemistry, is one of 60 students from across the country selected for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program. Fung will travel to Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in June and conduct research there for six months.

The SCGSR program provides supplemental awards to outstanding U.S. students to pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE facility. The award includes support for travel and a monthly stipend of up to $3,000 for general living expenses.

SCGSR research projects are expected to advance the awardee’s overall doctoral thesis while providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at the DOE laboratories/facilities. The program aims to prepare graduate students for careers in areas that are critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission.

Fung is a graduate student in the laboratory of De-en Jiang, an associate professor of chemistry. His doctoral research involves using a technique called quantum chemical simulation to identify new catalysts that can convert methane—an abundant resource in petroleum and natural gas deposits—into more valuable molecules such as ethylene, which is used to make plastics.

Fung will conduct research with Zili Wu, leader of Surface Chemistry and Catalysis Group in ORNL’s Chemical Sciences Division.

“Being selected for the SCGSR program is a rare opportunity for me to work closely with top experimental groups in my field. My goal after my Ph.D. is to become a researcher at a university or national lab, and this program will provide me with a firsthand experience of what it is like to work in a national lab as well as an opportunity to develop productive working relationships with experimental researchers in my field,” Fung said.

-Sarah Nightingale

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