U of A Senior Selected as Gates Cambridge Scholarship Finalist

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Richard “Isaac” Hopwood

U of A senior Richard “Isaac” Hopwood has been selected as a finalist for the 2022 Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

With more than 6,000 applicants from around the world, Hopwood’s selection as a finalist for this honor places him among the top students in the world.

The scholarship funds postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge in England, where 80 Gates Cambridge Scholars are selected each year to receive full-cost scholarships. About two-thirds of the scholarships are available to students pursuing a doctorate, with 25 awarded to US students and the rest to international students.

Hopwood, a chemical engineering major with a minor in French, is a Springdale native and recipient of both the Honors College Scholarship and the Distinguished Governor of Arkansas Scholarship. He was also selected as a WAVE Fellow at Cal Tech and has presented research conducted at the North Carolina State Chemical Engineering Research Symposium.

“It’s been such an incredible journey to get to this point,” Hopwood said. “Receiving this recognition is both fulfilling and humbling. There would be no way I could have done this without the constant support of my college and the professors and scholarship advisors, who have provided me with advice and written letters over the years.

“At the University of Cambridge, I intend to work at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Center on the research and development of high-entropy alloys, which, both in their manufacture and in their operation, have the potential to drastically reduce emissions from aviation. I believe that everyone has a role to play in our fight against climate change, and I hope to use this experience at Cambridge to launch my career in environmental research. I am proud to represent the University of Arkansas as a Gates Cambridge finalist.

“Isaac Hopwood truly deserves this honor,” said Kim Needy, dean of the College of Engineering. “He is committed to sustainability and research, and he started working on both the day he arrived on campus. During his first year, he conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Cordian on the production of sustainable fuels. Sustainability has been an abiding interest for him, and he followed that research with a project in Dr. Lauren Greenlee’s lab, again working on research that promotes sustainable practices. Currently, he is conducting research in the laboratory of Dr. Karthik Nayani, which has evolved into his honors thesis. I am so happy for Isaac and for all of our students who benefit from the incredible support offered by our faculty and colleges. They are great students, but they couldn’t do it alone.

“We are thrilled to have Isaac Hopwood represent the University of Arkansas in this highly competitive process,” Acting Provost Terry Martin said. “He is a brilliant student with a demonstrated commitment to research, sustainability and service. He will thrive in a competitive graduate program in materials science and will undoubtedly go on to a strong career in research that will have a positive impact on the environment and our ability to live sustainably.

The Gates Cambridge Scholarship was established through a gift of $210 million to the University of Cambridge from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000; it remains the largest donation to a university in the UK. Since the first class in 2001, Gates Cambridge has awarded over 2,000 scholarships to scholars from 111 countries representing over 600 universities worldwide and over 80 academic departments and all 31 Cambridge colleges.

U of A students who wish to apply for the Gates Cambridge Scholarship should contact the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards at [email protected]

About U of A Gates Cambridge Scholars: The University of Arkansas has already had four Gates Cambridge Scholars. Ryan Duchanois, 2016 scholar, obtained an MPhil in engineering for sustainable development at Cambridge. He is currently completing a doctorate in chemical and environmental engineering at Yale. Mariel Williams, 2013 Scholar, earned an MPhil in Human Evolutionary Students from Cambridge and recently completed a PhD in Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. In 2006, David Deitz and Lance Owen were selected as fellows in the same year. Deitz earned a master’s degree in the history and philosophy of science and medicine and is currently a board member and chief financial officer of a major healthcare company. Owen earned an MPhil in musicology at Cambridge, followed by a doctorate in geography at the University of California, Berkeley.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy through teaching new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and employment development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the top 3% of colleges and universities in the United States with the highest level of research activity. US News and World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. Learn how the U of A is working to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

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