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Meet Scholar Brooklyne Thompson

Posted on Friday, October 28, 2022

Brooklyne (pronounced like the NYC borough) Thompson, a 3rd year Chapter Scholar, has had an unconventional PhD journey. She began her PhD (online because of the pandemic) in chemical engineering at Oregon State University, but midway into her 2nd year has been continuing OSU classes online, while living and doing her research at the Idaho National Lab (INL) in Idaho Falls.  

As an undergraduate at Idaho State, she studied chemistry and had the opportunity to work with staff scientists at INL in the lab of Dr. Rebecca Fushimi, a foremost leader in research using Temporal Analysis of Products (TAP) reactors! Brooklyne reports there are only about 20 TAP reactors in the world, and two of the four in the US are in Idaho. There was always the understanding between her OSU advisor, Dr. Konstantinos Goulas, and the INL that when Brooklyne reached a certain level in her doctoral studies, she would return to the INL to do her own research project. However, that opportunity came sooner than expected.  

Brooklyne uses the TAP reactor to study platinum-based catalysts for propylene production. Propylene is a high-value chemical used to make polypropylene, acetone, and other industrial products. As demand continues to increase, we will need more stable catalysts to continue production. Brooklyne studies how these catalysts remain stable under reaction conditions in hopes that we can apply these stabilizing methods to other chemical processes. 

When she’s not engaged in scientific pursuits, Brooklyne enjoys trivia nights, hula hoop dancing, and sharing some of Idaho’s unique experiences, such as the Craters of the Moon National Monument and the Idaho State Fair, with fellow researchers from abroad and across the country.  Since there were no in-person ARCS events during her year and a half in Corvallis, she has had little contact with ARCS members. But she is grateful for the financial support, which allowed her to afford a good living situation in Corvallis and helped with moving expenses to Idaho.  

Brooklyne plans to continue her career in research and development (R&D) after she completes her PhD, either at a national lab or in industry. Of course, we at ARCS wish her all the best.