Share this:
04/06/2012 07:00:00

Caltech Student Will Conduct Research Down Under as a Fulbright Scholar

Caltech senior Emmet Cleary has been chosen to receive a Fulbright scholarship to conduct research at the University of Adelaide in Australia during the next academic year. The Australian-American Fulbright Commission selected Cleary—based on academic merit and leadership potential—as one of just 12 American students to receive the distinction this year.

While in Australia, Cleary, a chemical engineering major, will work with researchers at the University of Adelaide's Centre for Energy Technology, studying a type of high-efficiency combustion, known as the MILD combustion regime, which has shown promise as a more efficient and cleaner way of producing energy from gaseous and liquid fuels, and more recently from some solid fuels. Cleary is interested in testing the combustion regime as a cleaner way to burn coal.

"I'm thrilled with the opportunity that winning the Fulbright has given me, and I plan on making the most of it," says Cleary, originally from Rancho Cucamonga, California. He adds that he has always wanted to visit Australia and to live in another country, so he's excited that he will have the opportunity to live there for 10 months. "I am truly honored," he says.

Cleary decided to become a chemical engineering major because he loves chemistry, chemical kinetics, and fluid mechanics. After taking a course last year on combustion taught by Guillaume Blanquart, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Caltech, he became intrigued with combustion and went on to complete a SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) project involving simulation-based research on combustion.

After completing his Fulbright experience, Cleary plans to enter a PhD program in mechanical engineering and hopes to continue studying combustion.

According to the Fulbright website, the program, which started in 1946 and is sponsored by the United States Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, has provided approximately 310,000 participants with the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Cleary is the 12th Caltech student to receive a Fulbright scholarship in the last decade.

The Australian-American Fulbright Commission is one of over 50 Fulbright Commissions in the world that work with the U.S. Department of State to facilitate the Fulbright Program between the United States and more than 155 countries worldwide. Students must be U.S. citizens at the time of application to be eligible.

Written by Kimm Fesenmaier