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Whittemore ’23 wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program award

Tom Whittemore ’23.

Last updated April 6, 2023

By Tina Underwood

Furman University senior and chemistry major Tom Whittemore has won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program award to further his study of alternative energy sources.

The GRFP aims to ensure the quality, vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce in the nation by awarding fellowships amounting to $37,000 per year for three years for the awardee, and a $12,000 cost of education allowance each year paid to the graduate’s institution.

Whittemore, who will pursue a doctorate in chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will study chemicals and materials for use in renewable energy systems.

“My research will focus on developing chemicals that can use the energy of the sun to turn readily available substances, like water or carbon dioxide, into fuels for use in everyday life,” he said. “This type of research has implications in the development of environmentally friendly fuels that can hopefully reduce global reliance on fossil fuels.”

With shoutouts to mentor Paul Wagenknecht ’86, and faculty members Karen Buchmueller and Brian Goess, who lent help on the GRFP application, Whittemore said, “This award will open doors for me in the future, and I’m excited to see those opportunities through. I feel even more motivated, prepared and ready for my next five years.”

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