Iowa State University chemical engineering graduate student Deon Ploessl has been named a recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. Ploessl was an Iowa State Chemical and Biological Engineering undergraduate who received his B.S. in May of 2016 and then entered the graduate program.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
Ploessl’s major professor is CBE’s Assistant Professor and Jack and Carol Johnson Faculty Fellow Dr. Zengyi Shao, who put things in motion for the fellowship. “Dr. Shao motivated me to apply for it,” he said, adding that she worked with him on the application process, which included submitting a written proposal based on a research project and an essay. Ploessl will apply transcriptome reprogramming to unravel carbon catabolite repression and build a productive yeast platform for synthesizing high-value nutraceuticals.
He is one of four Iowa State students to receive the NSF fellowship, including one student in Electrical and Computer Engineering, one in Mechanical Engineering, and one in Life Sciences. Ploessl is also a recipient of Iowa State University’s Presidential Scholarship for graduate students.
The NSF received more than 13,000 nominations for the fellowship this year, with 2,000 offers extended nationwide. A link to the full list of fellowship recipients and more information about the program can be found here.