Tyler Fruneaux ’14 conducted experiments involving a special kind of plastic that can be used to grow new cells without damaging them. Such technology could be used to improve treatments for burn victims and others in need of skin grafts or tissue transplants.
He won first place in the research paper competition at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) for his honors thesis. As the winner, he will represent the entire Mid-Atlantic Region at the national Annual Meeting of AIChE in November.
Fruneaux worked for two years with Lauren Anderson, assistant professor of chemical engineering. He was drawn to her research for the way it combined his major in chemical engineering with his minor in biotechnology/bioengineering.
“I think it’s really interesting to be able to design things that essentially make people’s lives easier,” he says. “The idea of developing things and finding solutions to problems is something I’ve always enjoyed.”
Fruneaux has accepted a position at Air Products in Allentown, Pa., where he will be a product engineer working to improve the efficiency of hydrogen plants. He says his research with Anderson has given him many skills he will need.