Aiden Gauer ’23 — the URECA Researcher of the Month for November — is a senior in the University Scholars honors program, double majoring in chemical engineering and physics. For more than a year, he has been engaged in the development of innovative bactericidal polymer surfaces working under the mentorship of associate professor Tad Koga and Research Professor Maya Endoh from the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering.
Gauer’s summer research on “Fabrication of Nanotopographical Polymer Surfaces for Bactericidal Property” in the Koga-Endoh group was supported during summers 2021-2022 by the URECA Summer and Explorations in STEM programs. His project involved a significant amount of experimentation at Brookhaven National Laboratory, using nanofabrication processes available at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials.
Last March, Gauer presented a research poster at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring 2022 Conference in San Diego, which was partially sponsored through a URECA mini grant. In reflecting on this valuable experience, Gauer said, “A lot of my work is communicating with my peers, with grad students, and with my PIs. When I had the opportunity to go to the ACS Conference, I needed to be able to articulate what research I was doing, to talk to other people to gather ideas that I could bring back into my research. Research is not just sitting in the lab. The networking and communication are a big part of the whole experience.”
Gauer said that one of the reasons he chose Stony Brook was for the research opportunities. He was confident that he would find a lab that aligned with his personal goals.
Read more of the interview with URECA Director Karen Kernan.