Mr. Benjamin Helfrecht
Materials Engineering, Purdue
Class of 2016
Project: Rheo-PIV investigation of polymer gels, in collaboration with Mr. Travis Thornell
Bio: Ben grew up in Batavia, Illinois, a town in the far western suburbs of Chicago. He has always had an interest in math and science; as a child, Ben often participated in science programs held by the local park district. His interest only grew, driving him to seek undergraduate research positions shortly after arriving at Purdue. In the summer of 2013, Ben obtained such a position with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), engaging in thin-film solar cell research with Dr. Hongbin Yu at Arizona State University. The experience produced in him a desire to pursue a research career at a national laboratory or in academia. Upon returning to campus the following semester, he continued to seek out research opportunities, eventually finding a position in the Soft Material Mechanics group. When not in class or in a library, Ben can often be found in the pool, on a bike, or running along the Wabash River.