Christopher Neal, a junior in chemical and biomolecular engineering was
chosen for the honor, one of the nation’s highest, most selective awards for
“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.”