Brooke Noeska has been selected to receive the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ 2017-2018 Donald F. & Mildred Topp Othmer Scholarship Award.
The $1,000 scholarship recognizes outstanding academic achievement and involvement in AIChE student chapter activities. Recipients are honored at the Annual Student Conference, held at the same time as AIChE’s Annual Meeting. This year’s meeting is Oct. 28-Nov. 2 in Pittsburgh.
Noeska, a fourth-year chemical engineering major from Stafford, is president of the AIChE student chapter at the University of Virginia. She served as the chapter’s historian last year.
“I decided to take on a leadership role for my third year because I valued the opportunities the organization gave me through mentorship and professional events,” she said. “I ran for president because I wanted to do as much as I could to build and support the community within chemical engineering.”
Noeska exemplifies a notably active AIChE student chapter under the guidance of faculty advisor Michael King, professor of practice in chemical engineering. In nine of the past 10 years, the group has been named an Outstanding Student Chapter.
King said the AIChE awards 15 Othmer Scholarships each year, distributed among 175 chapters, so it is selective. He nominated Noeska with the recommendation of the department’s faculty. He attributes the recognition to her class leadership.
“It was noticed by her peers,” he said. “She was elected president of AIChE at UVA and has done a great job so far. She also is strong academically.”
Noeska won’t be the only UVA Chemical Engineering representative being feted in Pittsburgh. Third-year Michael Schapowal has won the Donald F. Othmer Sophomore Academic Excellence Award. It is given to the member in each AIChE student chapter who has achieved the highest grade point average in his or her first and second years. Additionally, UVA’s Earnest Jackson Oglesby Professor Robert Davis will have a conference session held in his honor on Oct. 29 as the 2017 winner of the institute’s prestigious R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering.
In fact, Noeska and Schapowal are part of a string of departmental achievements that include Davis’ Wilhelm, other faculty awards, and the unprecedented growth UVA ChE has undergone recently resulting from strategic faculty hiring and student recruitment. To celebrate its successes, the department is hosting a reception in Pittsburgh on Oct. 28 and inviting conference guests and alumni.