ERDC researcher selected for American Chemical Society award

Published 1:09 pm Friday, October 8, 2021

Dr. Travis Thornell, a research physical scientist with the U.S. Army Engineering Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Geotechnical and Structures Laboratory (GSL), has been selected for the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Partners for Prosperity Award.

Thornell, a researcher in the GSL’s Concrete and Materials Branch, is recognized for improving the public’s perception and appreciation for chemistry, promoting chemical career advancement or entrepreneurship, advancing chemical enterprise advocacy and supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and/or research.

“I am very honored to receive this award from the American Chemical Society,” Thornell said. “It is really an award and recognition of the great work the ERDC is doing with the University of Southern Mississippi.”

Thornell is the technical lead on the collaboration efforts between the ERDC and USM. He and his team organized research efforts across multiple ERDC laboratories with the School of Polymer Science and Engineering and the School of Ocean Science and Engineering to develop polymer coatings and composites and coastal sensors and models for military engineering.

Additionally, through the education partnership and the ERDC Graduate Institute, Thornell serves as an adjunct graduate faculty committee member on student committees in the School of Polymer Science and Engineering.

“I have mentored USM undergraduate and graduate student interns that have led them to then become full-time ERDC employees,” Thornell said.

Every summer, the USM Research Experience for Undergraduates and Research Experience for Teachers programs typically visit the ERDC-Vicksburg main campus for a tour. With the COVID-19 pandemic, Thornell has led two virtual seminars to highlight what polymer materials scientists do at ERDC and possible career opportunities.

Thornell will accept his award later this year at the 2021 ACS Southeastern Regional Meeting.