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Ames Laboratory Science Intern Awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Former Ames Laboratory Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) student William Robin Lindemann has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GFRP). Lindemann is a senior at Iowa State University majoring in materials science and engineering.

The NSF research fellowships recognize a student’s “demonstrated potential for significant achievements in science and engineering.” Out of 16,500 applicants, Lindemann was one of only 2,000 students to win a 2015 fellowship.

“Receiving the NSF fellowship is a tremendous honor. The scientists at Ames Laboratory have given me tremendous support over the years, and I am eager to apply the lessons I've learned to my graduate education,” Lindemann said. 

Lindemann participated in the SULI program in both 2013 and 2014.  During the program, undergraduates from around the country are teamed with scientist/mentors at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University for 10- and 16-week internships in which students work with scientists in real-world research laboratories.

During his participation in the Office of Science sponsored Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship (SULI) program,  Lindemann worked with mentor David Vaknin, Ames Laboratory physicist and ISU adjunct professor of physics. His internships culminated in three papers, “Interfacial Binding of Divalent Cations to Salixarene-Based Langmuir Monlayers,” which was published in a 2015 issue of Langmuir; “The effect of cesium carbonate on 1-(3-methoxycarbonly) propyl-1-phenyl [6,6]C61 aggregation in films,” published in Applied Physics Letters in 2014; and “An X-ray fluorescence study on the segregation of Cs and I in an inverted organic solar cell,” published in a 2013 issue of the Journal of Electronics. Lindemann has also worked with Ames Laboratory physicists Joe Shinar and Ruth Shinar.

"I have been fortunate to mentor many SULI students in the past and have enjoyed having them in the lab," said Vaknin. "Robin stands out for his maturity, his attitude and potential leadership skills. I'd also like to thank the SULI program and the Ames Laboratory staff for its commitment to educating young scientists and helping to reinvigorate the enthusiasm for science in the nation."  

The GRFP provides three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period ($34,000 annual stipend and $12,000 cost-of-education allowance to the graduate institution) for graduate study that leads to a research-based master's or doctoral degree in science or engineering.

Lindemann, plans to pursue a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall.

“After earning my Ph.D., I hope to pursue a career as a faculty researcher at a university. I am eager to apply the lessons I have learned to solving real-world problems,” said Lindemann. 

The NSF graduate fellowship is the second of two prestigious awards received by Lindemann. In 2014, he was awarded a Goldwater Scholarship, the nation's premier undergraduate scholarship in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering.  Also based on academic merit, the Goldwater Scholarship awards $7,500 scholarships to help awardees cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

Since 2005, the SULI program at the Ames Laboratory has hosted over 200 high-achieving undergraduate students from colleges and universities around the country.

"My success in receiving this award is due in large part to the SULI research experience I've had at the Ames Laboratory and to my mentor David Vaknin," said Lindemann. "SULI is a remarkable program for introducing undergraduates to real-life research experiences in science laboratories."