Christopher Cooper ’17, a senior majoring in chemical engineering and economics at North Carolina State University, has been awarded a prestigious 2017 Churchill Scholarship.
The Virginia Beach, Va. native will use the merit-based award – which covers all university and college fees, cost-of-living expenses, travel to and from the United Kingdom and other reimbursement of application fees – to pursue a one-year master’s degree in chemical engineering and biotechnology at the University of Cambridge beginning in fall 2017.
Cooper is NC State’s second Churchill Scholarship recipient and is one of 15 recipients of the award this year. A little more than 100 U.S. institutions are invited to nominate up to two applicants for the Churchill Scholarship.
Cooper came to NC State on its most prestigious merit scholarship – the Park Scholarship – and is also in the university’s Benjamin Franklin Scholar program, which allows students to couple engineering studies with the social sciences or humanities. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi academic honor societies, and is part of the University Scholars Program. Cooper is one of NC State’s two 2016 Goldwater Scholarship recipients.
Cooper has been a researcher since fall 2015 in the lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Michael Dickey, where Cooper creates soft electronic devices like tiny liquid-metal fibers that can be used as sensors.
Cooper served as lead advisor and helped raise over $200,000 for the Krispy Kreme Challenge, a five-mile run that benefits the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. He has spent time studying chemical engineering in France and sustainable systems in New Zealand.
Cooper plans to work on dye-sensitized solar cells at Cambridge. Afterwards, he plans to get his Ph.D. in chemical engineering, obtain a university professorship and create energy-harvesting devices.
Tiffany Kershner, director of NC State’s Fellowship Advising Office, describes Cooper as “a remarkable young man who combines a high level of intellectual achievement with outstanding leadership potential in chemical engineering and solar cell research.” She also praised the contributions of the 2016-17 NC State Churchill Scholarship campus selection committee that nominated Cooper.
The Churchill Scholarship provides funding to American students and alumni from the previous academic year for a year of master’s study in science, mathematics and engineering at Churchill College, based at the University of Cambridge. The scholarship, first awarded in 1963, was set up at the request of Sir Winston Churchill in order to fulfil his vision of U.S.-U.K. scientific exchange with the goal of advancing science and technology on both sides of the Atlantic, helping to ensure our future prosperity and security. It is administered by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States.
This article was originally published by NC State News.