Taskina Zaman Jui

I am Taskina, a chemical engineering undergraduate from the University of Florida. I worked at Van Lehn Research Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this summer. My project was focused on analyzing the solvent effects on PDC (2-pyrone-4,6-dicarboxylic acid) derived biopolymers performing molecular simulations. The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center is exploring the potential of second-generation biomass by producing PDC produced from lignin depolymerization. My primary goal was to identify potential solvents to recycle PDC derived biopolymers via STRAP (Solvent Targeted Recovery And Precipitation). I have always enjoyed computational research; however, I really enjoyed learning to perform molecular simulations and some concepts of statistical mechanics. My research and communication skills have improved as I expected. 

A group of young students stand on a rocky path with views overlooking a lake.

I feel very fortunate to be able to explore Madison with other REU participants. We went hiking at Devil’s Lake State Park. We had multiple social events like ice cream social, cultural cuisine night, trivia night etc. I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit Kellogg’s Biological Station and Michigan State University. Overall, I had the most enjoyable and fulfilling summer of my life in Madison.

I am grateful to GLBRC and REU staff for this great experience! I am also thankful to Van Research Lab for their support, feedback, and encouragement throughout this summer. I highly recommend this REU program and Van Lehn Research Lab to consider applying to anyone eager to learn and explore some cool stuff!

Read more GLBRC Summer REU blogs here.