Undergraduate junior Ethan Ashbrook named a 2023 Goldwater Scholar

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (05/09/2023) – Chemistry undergraduate student Ethan Ashbrook has been named a 2023 Goldwater Scholar. Ethan is a junior in the University of Minnesota Chemistry BS program working with Professor Ian Tonks. 

When asked why he was drawn to study chemistry, Ethan says:

“I was enamored by its sheer ubiquity in our world and how such small molecules can have huge impacts on how we live and function as a society. To that end, I'm very much interested in how we can use chemistry for a cleaner, more sustainable society. The research I mainly discussed in my scholarship application was very much related to this topic as well.”

In his time working with the Tonks Group, Ethan’s research has focused on designing low-valent titanium catalysts meant to improve and replace catalysts that use rare-earth metals. Titanium is both more abundant and a more inert element than most rare-earth metals. Ethan is working towards the finish line in his goal of graduating next spring with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Sustainability Studies. 

Ethan plans to pursue graduate school and is interested in pivoting towards the materials side of sustainability-focused chemistry to get involved in the design of safer and more energy-efficient systems and materials. He ultimately hopes to end up in a research position focused on polymer science and its applications to contribute towards a sustainable future for our world.

The Goldwater Scholarship Program seeks to identify, encourage, and financially support college sophomores and juniors in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics who show exceptional promise of becoming the next generation of research leaders. Ethan was one of 413 Goldwater Scholars named in 2023; two other UMN students – Fred Tutt and Jamison Ward – were also selected for the honor.