Two CREWS undergraduate research students, Shannon Hamp who is currently at Montana State University, and Baylie Phillips who is currently at Montana Tech, were announced as Goldwater Scholars! This scholarship is the most prestigious award in the natural sciences, engineering, and mathematics in the United States and is given to sophomores and juniors who show exceptional promise to be the next generation of research leaders in their fields. Some characteristics that Goldwater Scholars have are a strong commitment to a research career, an effective display of intellectual intensity in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering, as well as a potential for a significant future contribution to research in their chosen field. The two undergraduate interns who were awarded this scholarship certainly exhibit these characteristics!
Shannon Hamp is a junior majoring in electrical and computer engineering at Montana State University. Hamp became involved with CREWS through a Research Experience for Undergraduates project in summer 2021. She assisted with drone-based hyperspectral imaging of algae in the Judith River Basin and the Upper Clark Fork River, while also developing a low-cost multispectral imager for river algae detection. Shannon has always been passionate about environmental protection, and she says, “I initially chose to major in electrical engineering because I wanted to be involved in the grid integration of renewable energy technology.” Upon becoming involved in Dr. Joe Shaw’s Optical Remote Sensor Laboratory (ORSL), she discovered her passion for optics and photonics through remote sensing. By having an opportunity to apply her engineering coursework to real environmental problems and working with a team that is driven to support the outdoor environment, Hamp has strengthened her passion for remote sensing research. Hamp is also the president of the Bridger Solar Team, where students work to design an entirely solar-powered vehicle to race in the American Solar Challenge. Her involvement in this organization has been one of her favorite experiences at Montana State University. Shannon has a goal of continuing her education and eventually having a career in research that will ideally contribute to environmental protection through remote sensing technologies.
Baylie Phillips is a junior majoring in metallurgical and materials engineering at Montana Technological University. Phillips’ research encompasses a broad array of disciplines but focuses mainly on exploring the life cycle of materials and ultimately removing materials from environmental systems. Baylie has worked with Dr. Jerry Downey as a CREWS undergraduate research intern, investigating selenium absorption and removal in Continuous Flow Metal Recovery systems. This research contributed to Research Thrust 1 of the CREWS project, “Metal contamination and nutrient enrichment in the Upper Clark Fork River (UCFR): subsidies, stressors, and river productivity.” Phillips shares that this research has allowed her to explore how to utilize the environmental portion of her degree. After completing her degree at Montana Technological Institute, Baylie hopes to pursue a masters of science in Material Science and a doctorate in Material Science, in order to specialize in multiple areas of material science. Baylie’s goal is to make processes and materials more efficient and cleaner for the environment. She eventually plans to come back to the education system to become a professor. Read more about Baylie’s CREWS undergraduate research internship experience.
Congratulations to both of these deserving individuals!