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Department of Physics

Physics major Joseph Tibbs awarded an Honorable Mention for the Goldwater Scholarship in Science and Mathematics.

UNI is pleased to announce that Joseph Tibbs (Alden, Iowa) has been awarded an Honorable Mention for the nationally competitive Goldwater Scholarship in Science and Mathematics.  This year 211 Scholars were selected and 280 students were given Honorable Mention from a field of 1,280 students nominated by colleges and universities nationwide.

Joseph Tibbs is a sophomore at UNI with double majors in Physics and Biochemistry.  His goal is to work toward a PhD in Biomedical Engineering where he can develop new medical technologies.  He is particularly interested in bringing together his passion for physics and biochemistry to explore novel techniques such as microfluidics and functionalized nanomaterials.  Techniques such as these have potential for improved drug delivery systems to treat and cure disease and as analytical tools that will help detect disease. 

His research project with Dr. Ali Tabei (Physics, UNI) and Dr. Maria Spies (Biochemistry, UIowa) provided him with an early success.  In this project he taught himself MatLab programming and used these skills to improve and extend an algorithm that allows complex data of molecule-to-molecule interactions to be tracked and displayed.  He will be first author on one paper from this work and will also be a co-author on a second publication as well.

In the past 10 years, UNI students have received 2 Goldwater Scholarships and 4 Honorable Mentions.  Some of these students have gone on to win additional nationally competitive awards and are research active in their current positions.