April 22, 2004

Contact: Jill Hummels, School of Engineering, (785) 864-2934.

KU engineering senior from Arma wins national Tau Beta Pi fellowship

LAWRENCE -- Scott Roberts, a University of Kansas senior in chemical engineering from Arma, has received a 2004-05 Tau Beta Pi fellowship.

The fellowship from the national engineering honor society provides up to $10,000 for graduate study at any university. Tau Beta Pi awards only 30 to 35 of these fellowships per year.

Roberts plans to graduate from KU in May. He has been accepted by a number of graduate programs and plans to attend the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Roberts is the son of Alan and Linda Roberts of Arma, and he is a graduate of Northeast High School.

Roberts is no stranger to honors from Tau Beta Pi. In spring 2003 he was named a Tau Beta Pi scholar, receiving $2,000 for his senior year at KU.

Mario Medina, assistant professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering and chief adviser for the KU Tau Beta Pi chapter, recognized that KU students possess the qualities being honored by the organization at the national level and has encouraged students in the organization to pursue these opportunities.

"Roberts' efforts go way beyond the requirements and in many instances, expectations," Medina said. "These (awards) are significant to both the student and the university because these fellowships and scholarships are nationally competitive and are given only to the very best engineering students studying in the best engineering programs in America."

According to information provided by Tau Beta Pi, the fellows are free to begin graduate study in any field that will enable them to contribute to the engineering profession. Roberts' long-term aspirations include earning a doctorate in engineering and entering the research and development field in industry.

Roberts is a member of the KU chapter of Tau Beta Pi. He has served as president of the KU student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and helped coordinate the AIChE regional meeting in spring 2003. He has been active in the KU ambassador program, supported through the Office of Admissions and Scholarships, and this year serves as an ambassador in the School of Engineering. Roberts also has been involved in research at the undergraduate level.

As part of the fellowship application process, students wrote an essay on their research activities and provided a proposed plan of research in their graduate studies. Roberts based his essay on work he has completed with Kyle Camarda, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering at KU. That work involved computational models for molecular design of polymers. "Dr. Camarda and the work I did with him in research got me interested in going to grad school," Roberts said.

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