Ames National Laboratory to host new SCGSR student James Knoop

James Knoop, a graduate student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, was selected for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) award. For this award,James Knoop he will be conducting research at the U.S. Department of Energy Ames National Laboratory under the guidance of Tanya Prozorov, a scientist at Ames Lab. 

The SCGSR program is designed to prepare graduate students for science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) careers that are critically important to the DOE Office of Science mission. Through this program, selected graduate students can pursue part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory or facility. Knoop is one of cohort of 86 graduate students recently announced by the DOE.

Knoop is working towards his Ph.D. in nanoengineering, focusing on the practical application of nanoscience. He explained, "This field involves developing emerging technologies that are miniature, powerful, and efficient."

He was first introduced to the SCGSR program when he attended the Materials and Energy Solutions workshop at Ames Lab in May 2023. "During this conference, I established connections with research professors and discussed future research collaborations that ultimately led me to apply to the SCGSR program," said Knoop. The workshop was supported by DOE’s Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS), a program that also supports the SCGSR award.

For his research project, "Fluorinated Ionic Liquids for Rare-Earth Element Recovery and Recyclability," Knoop will investigate fluorinated ionic liquids as a viable option for light and heavy rare-earth element recovery through extraction and separations.

“James’ research is aligned the Geo-inspired Separation of Rare Earth Elements project – so in addition to working with me as his formal host, he will have an opportunity to interact with the highly collaborative team, and this will provide him with a chance to see how his project becomes a part of a larger effort, and understand the environment of the National Laboratory complex,” said Prozorov. “This is a unique experience.”

Providing access to the unique expertise, resources, and capabilities available at DOE laboratories and facilities is one goal of the SCGSR program. Students whose proposed research is funded need to address priority research areas identified by the DOE Office of Science

"I'm looking forward to the new experiences I'll have over the upcoming year living in the Midwest and working at Ames Lab on a daily basis," said Knoop. "I think I'll make many exciting new connections that will follow me into my future career."

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) is supported by the Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) which works to ensure that DOE and the nation have a sustained pipeline of highly skilled and diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers. 

Ames National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science National Laboratory operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies, and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities, and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.

Ames Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit