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Gastfriend, Benjamin D

Benjamin Gastfriend
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

What is the RISE area of interest during your first year and why?: 

During my first year in the RISE program, my area of interest is research. I have participated in undergraduate research since the fall of my sophomore year, and continuing this work within the framework of the RISE program seems like the most natural extension of my current path. I am also strongly considering a career as a researcher.

What is the RISE area of interest during your second year and why?: 

During my second year in the RISE program, I plan to participate in instruction. I know firsthand that good teaching assistants and teaching fellows can have a profound impact on students’ comprehension of material and success in a class. I would like to use what knowledge I have developed to positively impact other chemical and biomolecular engineering students’ learning experiences.

What are your involvements and or extracurricular activities?: 

I am the junior class representative for the University of Maryland chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and a member of Omega Chi Epsilon, the National Honor Society for Chemical Engineering. I am also an at-large representative and vice-chair on the Adele H. Stamp Student Union Advisory Board at the University of Maryland.

What is your cool engineering experience?: 

My cool engineering experience was overcoming my preconceived dislike of computer programming. The class CHBE250: Computer Methods in Chemical Engineering quickly changed my mind by showing me how knowledge of a few fundamental programming principles presented in an engineering context can allow you to solve advanced problems. I have been able to apply this knowledge in many other classes and in my research.