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From the Magazine: Better Batteries

10.20.2016 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
It’s a rare opportunity to be an active part of scientific research, especially for undergraduates, but over the summer five science students had paid internships in the labs of three Texas Wesleyan professors, thanks to a grant by the Robert A. Welch Foundation.

Left to right: Michelle Phillips, Forrest Kneten, Cody Dorton, Colton Clanton and Charlotte Salin

It’s a rare opportunity to be an active part of scientific research, especially for undergraduates, but over the summer five science students had paid internships in the labs of three Texas Wesleyan professors, thanks to a grant by the Robert A. Welch Foundation. 

They were trying to tease out the mysteries of amino acids, nanoparticles and proteins and their roles in bacterial infections, battery performance and tuberculosis. 

The projects are long-term research of professors Phillip Pelphrey, Michael Weir and Terrence Neumann, and the students were captivated by the search for solutions. 

Part 1: Better Batteries

Baseball-pitcher-turned-chemist Colton Clanton is working with Michael Weir, a chemistry assistant professor, to manipulate metallic nanoparticles. A better understanding of these invisible processes will have a huge impact on energy storage and production, i.e. fuel cells, solar fuels and reducing greenhouse gas emission.

“Even when you fail in the field of science, you’re making progress,” Clanton says. “Not all failures are failures. Everything 

Clanton says he’s one of the lucky ones, “getting his hands dirty” in the minutiae of scientific progress. He plans to continue working in Weir’s lab for the next year or more, even though he won’t be getting paid.

Other parts in the series:

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