By Communications Staff | March 19, 2020
We sat down with Rembert White, who was given the Chemical Engineering Department’s Spring 2020 Outstanding Senior Award. Rembert conducted undergraduate research in the Center of Catalysis for Renewable Fuels, is the president of the UofSC chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, a member of the Tau Beta Pi Honors Society, a Magellan Ambassador, and an excellent student. He shared with us some of his favorite memories at the CEC and his plans for the future.
1) How were you able to balance all of your activities in and out of the classroom so successfully during your time in the CEC?
I was able to balance all of my coursework and extracurricular activities by organizing all of my work in an efficient manner. I set aside time at the beginning of each semester to clearly layout all assignments, tests, events, etc., in a calendar so that I could visualize everything. This allowed me to see where intensive, work-concentrated times would happen throughout the semester and also ensured I would not forget anything.
2) When you look back on your time at the CEC, what has been your favorite moment in the college?
My favorite moment during my time at the CEC would definitely be having the opportunity to explore the south of Germany for two weeks the summer after my freshman year with Chemical Engineering Associate Professor Ed Gatzke on his Next Energy Maymester. As a freshman on the trip, I was able to socialize with upperclassmen both within and outside of the major while exploring Germany and the field of renewable energy.
3) What advice would you give to an incoming chemical engineering freshman?
If you don't have a way to organize and clearly lay out your work like Google Calendar or a planner, your success will be far more difficult than it needs to be. Being a chemical engineering student is tough, but you can make it easier on yourself if you develop good habits for keeping up with homework, tests and even personal events early on in your time at the university. This is the best way to balance your school and social life as well.
4) Has there been one faculty member that has significantly impacted you in your time here? If so, how did they impact you?
My undergraduate research mentor, John Regalbuto, has significantly impacted my time in the CEC, as I have worked in his research group since the end of my freshman year. Dr. Regalbuto has allowed me to explore the field of catalysis and renewable fuels, provided me with numerous graduate-level mentors in the field, and given me the opportunity to progress my professional academic career during my undergraduate studies.
5) Following graduation, how do you plan to use what you learned here at the CEC going forward into the future?
Following graduation, I plan to pursue graduate education and to pursue a career in solar energy materials research. I also plan to eventually become a researching professor and one day mentor my own undergraduate researchers.
6) What does it mean to you to be awarded the Chemical Engineering Department’s Outstanding Senior Award?
It is a significant honor to be awarded the Chemical Engineering Department's Outstanding Senior Award. It makes me very proud to be recognized by my professors and peers, especially with so many other hard-working students. It is validation of the work that I have put toward my degree during my four years in the CEC, and I am very thankful to everyone in the department for this support and recognition.