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Christopher Neal Named 2017-2018 Goldwater Scholar

Picture of Christopher NealChristopher Neal, a junior in chemical and biomolecular engineering was

chosen for the honor, one of the nation’s highest, most selective awards for

undergraduate students.

“Being named Goldwater Scholars means they have competed successfully with the

finest undergraduate STEM students in the country,” said Andrew Seidler, director of

UT’s Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships. “This is a tremendous

accomplishment for each of them and, with three Goldwater Scholars in a single

year, a clear indication of the quality of students at UT.”

The Goldwater Scholarship Program was established by Congress in 1986 to

honor Sen. Barry M. Goldwater. It was designed to encourage outstanding students

to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences and engineering. UT has had

17 students named Goldwater Scholars in the last decade.

Neal, of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, is a member of the Chancellor’s Honors Program,

Tau Beta Pi engineering honors society and the Tickle College of Engineering’s

Joseph C. and Judith E. Cook Grand Challenge Scholars Program.

He has done research with Thomas Zawodzinski Jr., the Governor’s Chair for

Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage, and Senior Research Associate Gabriel

Goenaga for more than two years. He has worked with Oak Ridge National

Laboratory and numerous international companies.

A member of the Chem-E-Car Team, Neal has served as the team’s captain for the

past year. He is also a resident assistant in the new Stokely Hall.

His goals are to earn a doctorate in chemical engineering with a focus on

electrochemistry. He wants to conduct research on alternative electrical energy

storage devices (that is, upcoming battery technologies) and teach at the university


“Earning the Barry Goldwater Scholarship is perhaps the greatest honor I have ever

received,” he said, adding that the scholarship is likely to open doors for him. “This

scholarship has afforded me the opportunity to realize my full potential in research

and academic excellence.”

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