Chris Boyce, an MIT senior who is double majoring in chemical engineering and physics, has been named a Gates Cambridge Scholar for 2011.
Boyce plans to pursue a PhD in chemical engineering, focusing his research on carbon capture and storage. His work at MIT has centered on two interconnected areas: alternative energy and innovating new technologies.
Prior to coming to MIT, Boyce began working on stretchable and bendable substrates that could be used for a variety of purposes — photovoltaic arrays, electrodes and circuit boards, for example. He turned some of his early substrate designs into reality at the MIT Hobby Shop.
At MIT, his work has garnered the interest of the Department of Defense: A company he co-founded to bring his substrate designs to market — Infinite Corridor Technology — was awarded a $100,000 DARPA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract. Boyce is a co-inventor on two patent applications for this work.
In chemical engineering, Boyce has conducted research on organic photovoltaics in the Chemical Vapor Deposition Lab of Karen Gleason, the Alexander and I. Michael Kasser Professor of Chemical Engineering. This work focused on depositing polymeric electrodes to form solar cells on surfaces such as paper, and enhancing the efficiency of those solar cells.
Boyce has also minored in nuclear engineering and researched the technical feasibility and benefits of the chemical separations of spent nuclear fuel as well as the effects of implementing reprocessing in advanced nuclear fuel cycles.
When not in the lab or classroom, Boyce is an avid soccer and tennis player and a certified SCUBA diver. Chris Boyce is the son of Mary Boyce, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT.
MIT students have won 19 of the prestigious Gates scholarships since the program was established in 2000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The scholarships cover tuition, room, board, travel and stipend for study at Cambridge University. This year, 30 students total were named Gates scholars.