Ohio University

Two OHIO students named Barry M. Goldwater Scholars

Author: Marissa McDaid

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Two Ohio University students – a chemical and biomolecular engineering junior and an environmental studies sophomore – were named national 2019 Barry M. Goldwater Scholars in May.

Recognized for their research on carbon capture, Mahmoud Ramadan is a junior chemical engineering major with minors in chemistry and math, and Edward Drabold is a sophomore environmental studies major in the Honors Tutorial College.

The scholarship, considered one of the most renowned undergraduate research awards in the field of STEM, provides up to $7,500 for tuition, fees, books and board. The two are among 496 U.S. college students named Goldwater Scholars for 2019.

“I am honored to have been selected as the recipient of the Goldwater Scholarship,” said Ramadan, a student in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. “The application process was long and demanding, but reviewing and editing the essays has helped me focus my ideas and think really hard about my career goals.”

He noted that winning the scholarship reaffirmed his desire to continue his education and earn a Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

Ramadan’s interest in engineering dates back to his youth, when he developed an affinity for problem solving.

“As a child, I enjoyed reading detective stories … and would always ask about what, why, and how something happened” Ramadan said. “Everyone told me that I should become a lawyer, but engineering also answers the same type of questions.”

Ramadan’s research mentors include Associate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Monica Burdick, who is also OHIO’s Goldwater committee chair, and University of Pittsburgh Assistant Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Giannis Mpourmpakis.

“It is always a great pleasure for an advisor to work with highly motivated students like Mahmoud and I am very happy that his research experience in our lab helped him receive the Goldwater Scholarship,” said Mpourmpakis. “His selection for the prestigious Goldwater Scholarship is a very well deserved recognition of his strong drive to solve highly important scientific problems.”

Drabold began working alongside Russ College researchers at 16 years old, when he joined OHIO’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment.

Drabold, who had been competing in science fairs since 5th grade, asked Loehr Professor of Mechanical Engineering David Bayless to be his mentor while he was a student at Athens High School.

"He’s a remarkable young man, and it showed in his application," Bayless said. "But more importantly, the award will help him further his work -- and I expect great things from him."

Ramadan and Drabold join Russ College alumnus Quinn Mitchell, BSME ’19, as Goldwater Scholars. Engineering physics major Ryan Tumbleson and Russ College alumnus Bert Neyhouse, BSChBE ’18, received honorable mentions for the Barry Goldwater Scholarship in 2017.