Release Date: April 5, 2012
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Every year a select few students are awarded the nationally renowned Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship. Daniel Salem, a junior chemical engineering major at the University at Buffalo, has now joined that prestigious group.
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program was founded in 1986 to provide a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who plan to pursue careers in those fields. It honors Sen. Barry M. Goldwater, a U.S. senator for 30 years.
More information about the Goldwater Scholarship is available at http://www.act.org/goldwater.
Salem plans to use the $7,500 scholarship award to fund his research for the remainder of his undergraduate career. His interests lie within the field of energy storage and, in particular, the development of new successful battery technologies that can meet growing energy demands.
A resident of Liverpool, N.Y., Salem has been a standout student since first arriving at UB, earning academic honors since his freshman year. After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school, earn a PhD in chemical engineering and eventually pursue a career in academia.
A UB Presidential Scholar, Salem has a long list of honors and awards, which include the CRC Freshman Chemistry Award, Merck Index Sophomore Chemistry Award and the AIChE Sophomore Excellence Award. He is also a member of the engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi and the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program.
Now Salem can add the Goldwater Scholarship to his impressive resume.
"During the past decade or so, energy production and consumption have become major issues for the United States and other nations around the world," said Salem. "I am very interested in this research field because of the widespread applications, and the potential to change the way in which the United States thinks about energy."
His interests in energy storage and energy conservation stem from a presentation by a local weatherman on global warming he attended while in high school. Due to his experience as a member of the Boy Scouts, Salem already had a great deal of respect for the environment, but after the presentation he decided to devote his studies to improving environmental conditions.
"While I knew the overall idea of global warming, I was overwhelmed by the evidence that he presented and severity of the problem," said Salem. "I distinctly remember the feeling as I walked out of the auditorium. I was confused, shocked and even a little angry."
Currently, Salem is a member of a research group studying various aspects of lithium-air battery systems. He has worked under UB Research Assistant Professor Amy C. Marschilok, as well as Ken Takeuchi, SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Chemistry, and his wife, Esther Sans Takeuchi, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Greatbatch Professor of Advanced Power Sources in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, since his sophomore year.
Salem said he greatly admires the couple for giving him the opportunity to work in their lab as an undergraduate and credits them for his decision to pursue graduate studies.
"My current goal as a student is to open enough doors so that I have the opportunity to change the world in the future," said Salem. "I hope someday to make just as great a contribution to society as they have."
Salem joins the ranks of other Goldwater recipients, many of whom have received prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs, including numerous Rhodes, Marshall and Churchill scholarships.