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Clarkson Undergrad Receives Prestigious Student Chemistry Award

Clarkson University senior Diane Brzozowski of Apalachin, N.Y., is the recipient of the American Microchemical Society's (AMS) 2002 Undergraduate Award.

Brzozowski accepted the award, which included a $1,000 prize, at the Eastern Analytical Symposium held in New Jersey last November.

Brzozowski received the award for research in chemometrics and liquid chromatography, which she conducted under the supervision of Clarkson Chemistry Professor Barry Lavine. She presented the results of her research at the symposium's Undergraduate Research Poster Session.

What is most impressive about Diane is her ability to perform independent research with little or no supervision, said Lavine. "Her work is of the highest quality. Diane can take an idea and transform it into a favorable outcome. There is no doubt in my mind that she will be quite successful in her chosen profession."

In her research, Brzozowski used a form of artificial intelligence called a genetic algorithm to search for patterns in gas chromatographic data of jet fuel. Although the data was different for neat jet fuel and fuel from spills that had weathered in ground water, she located a chemical fingerprint that could be used to identify the type of fuel in a spill. Other research involved the development of methods to separate gold nano-particles of various sizes to investigate their optical properties.

Working on research projects alongside faculty members has been a hallmark of Brzozowski's Clarkson education. "As a member of the honors program, I had the opportunity to begin research at Clarkson the summer before my freshman year," she said. "Those opportunities have continued throughout my four years here."

Brzozowski has published three analytical papers to date and maintains a 3.96 GPA. Following graduation from Clarkson this spring, she plans to attend graduate school in analytical or physical chemistry.

Formed in 1935, the AMS is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of microchemistry. The AMS Undergraduate Analytical Chemistry Award was established in 1977 to recognize outstanding student scientists who are active in analytical chemistry research.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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