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Sources: Andrew McGowan, amagoo@k-state.edu;
and Ayomi Perera, ayomee@k-state.edu
Hometown connection: Prairie Village

Friday, Nov. 11, 2011

Among the best: Graduate students win top prizes at national EPSCoR Conference

MANHATTAN -- Two graduate students recently won the top prizes in a research poster contest that was part of the 22nd National Science Foundation EPSCoR Conference in Couer d'Alene, Idaho.

The students are conducting research for Climate Change and Energy: Basic Science, Impacts and Mitigation, a Kansas National Science Foundation EPSCoR major initiative.

Andrew McGowan, a doctoral student in agronomy from Prairie Village, won the grand prize in the water/environment category for his poster "Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Different Biofuel Cropping Systems." McGowan is a 2006 graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School.He is studying biofuels with Chuck Rice, university distinguished professor of soil microbiology.

Ayomi Perera, a doctoral student in organic chemistry from Sri Lanka, won the grand prize in the energy category for her poster "Design of a Mycrobacterial Porin Based Dye Sensitized Solar Cell." She studies with Stefan Bossmann, professor of chemistry. Perera's research focuses on fabricating environmentally friendly dye sensitized solar cells by introduction of less toxic dyes and utilization of bacterial proteins.

Both students received a $250 award.

The National Science Foundation established EPSCoR to promote progress in states that traditionally have been underfunded in the sciences. Kansas has been an EPSCoR state since 1993.