“Education is not the answer to the question. Education is the means to the answer to all questions.”
— William Allin

Chemical and Biological Engineering
Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
Class of 2013

Chase Collegiate School
Waterbury, CT
Class of 2008

On top of formal schooling, I am always learning and exploring on my own.

I can usually be found reading a book relating to chemistry and chemical and biochemical engineering topics.  The chemistry of everything from everyday household items to the intricate biochemistry that takes place in our bodies fascinates me.  When I find time, I log some of the more interesting and popular chemistry topics on my website, http://www.chemistrytwig.com.

I would have to say that my education in chemical and biological engineering truly started when I was about 14. After taking an intro to chemistry class and being told that experiments were too dangerous to be performed in class, I went home and built a small chemistry lab in my parent’s basement. To my mother’s dismay I stole any and all chemicals I could find in my house. I made things change color, fizzle, and explode.

After I got bored with the initial excitement of things changing color and fizzling, I started experimenting with mixing chemicals and plants. It was amazing to see plants growing to four times their usual size, see them glow, and observe how some thrived with certain chemicals while others died within hours of exposure to those same chemicals.

I logged hundreds of experiments from when I was 14 until I moved away for college at 18. While I no longer have the means to do research on my own, other than through work, I’ve been reading about and exploring the theories and physical laws behind why and how chemical changes occur.

Publications:
Donnelly, M. W., Hailemichael, M. and Liberatore, M. W. (2014), Altering the viscosity of cationically modified cellulose polymers by the addition of salt. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 132, 41616, doi: 10.1002/app.41616