Chemical engineering senior named Fulbright Scholar

Chemical engineering senior Marie Armbruster has received a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to Galicia, Spain, from the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Armbruster will support the teaching of English in local plurilingual schools.

Marie Armbruster

Armbruster is one of more than 1,900 Americans who will conduct research, teach English, and provide expertise abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and leadership potential in their respective fields.

“I attended a K-8 Spanish immersion school and it had a lasting impact on how I approach the world. I think it is incredibly important to realize that each of us is at the center of our own world view,” Armbruster said.

“By teaching English as a native speaker next year, I will be pulled out of my own comfort zone and be able to serve students by helping them develop critical language skills,” she said. “I am very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to spend next year serving students in Spain and learning from another culture.”

Armbruster, from Lexington, Kentucky, is a Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholar, a member of the Vanderbilt Engineering Council, and a board member of the student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She also is the recipient of a Bruce and Bridgitt Evans Scholarship and a George W. F. Myers Scholarship. As a sophomore, she received a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship.

Her research interest is alternative energies, particularly photovoltaics, and her goal is to teach at the university level.

Armbruster works in the Bioinspired Materials and Surfaces Lab, headed by Kane Jennings, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She conducts research on photovoltaic systems incorporating the photosystem I protein used in the photosynthetic machinery of plants. The high quantum efficiency of this protein is a desirable quality in photovoltaic conversion.

In summer 2015, as a Phillips Scholar at the Air Force Research Laboratory located at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she worked on development of flexible and conductive solar cell coverglass materials for space resiliency of satellite power arrays.

The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and it operates in over 160 countries worldwide.

Contact: Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314