Johnny Hergert has been named one of the Fall 2015 Undergraduates of the Quarter and we couldn’t be more proud. He was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, where he attended Wilson High School, home of the Trojans and graduated in 2012. Johnny says he’s always known that he wanted to be a chemist. In fact, his grandfather, Herbert Hergert received his PhD in Chemistry from OSU and his sister also attended OSU.
“I like the details and problem solving, particularly on the small scale. And how applicable to daily life it is,” he replied when asked why he chose chemistry. He also stated that CH 361 and 362 were his favorite classes because, “the integrated labs are so hands on, and I really liked that.” His favorite instructor so far has been Dr. Christine Pastorek, the integrated lab instructor.
Since Johnny is on the Materials Science track of the Chemistry program, it was only natural he started doing research in Dr. John Simonsen’s lab. During the spring of 2014, Johnny started working on cellulose nanocrystals and polymer composites. More recently, he’s begun 3D printing objects to help with the experiments. He says his favorite research topic, though, is renewable materials.
Upon graduation, Johnny will attend graduate school at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he plans to obtain a PhD in Materials Science. He hasn’t decided yet whether that PhD will take him to academia or industry, but we wish him the best of luck either way.
In his spare time, Johnny is a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and experience has says has had a huge impact on his life. He also enjoys hiking, mountain biking and intramural sports.
It is students like Johnny who make us proud to be teaching the next generation of chemists.