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Nguyen, Catherine

Major: 
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

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

I am interested in performing research for my first year of RISE because I want to be involved in developing new technologies that will be beneficial to society. I have been working in Dr. Raghavan’s Complex Fluids Group and have enjoyed working on several projects that focus on different areas of chemical engineering.

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

I am interested in instruction for my second year because I like helping others understand challenging topics. I have taught PHYS161, which is taken mainly by engineering students, as a GSS leader and found it rewarding to see students gain confidence and explain the topics they initially struggled with to other students. I hope to use my skills to help more chemical engineering majors.

What are your involvements and or extracurricular activities?: 

I am a Guided Study Session (GSS) Leader for PHYS161. I am a member of two chemical engineering groups, AIChE and OXE. I volunteer with Engineers Without Borders’ Peru project team. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis with UMD’s Club Tennis.

What is your cool engineering experience?: 

In Dr. Raghavan’s Complex Fluids Group, I have helped fabricate a hybrid hydrogel that is able to fold into a 3D structure in the presence of an enzyme. The gel has potential applications insoft robotics and biosensing. I have used the gel to mimic the movement of a Venus Fly Trap. I have also cultured cells to explore the gel’s ability to detect biological relevant concentrations of the enzyme collagenase.