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Spotlight

Jesse Streicher

PhD candidate, Mechanical Engineering
When I was in fifth grade, I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, which hurt my confidence in my athletic abilities.

When I was in fifth grade, I was diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma, which hurt my confidence in my athletic abilities. I never had a major health scare, but I remember how it felt to experience a constricted airway. And while I grew up in a small town in Iowa that had good air quality, there are many children who do not have that luxury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 8.6% of children in the U.S. suffer from asthma, and that number is growing. In many cases, the chemicals in vehicle exhaust can exacerbate asthmatic symptoms. My graduate research concentrates on investigating the combustion chemistry of biofuels and pollutant formation. Through a better understanding of fuel combustion and chemistry, I hope to help find ways to improve the efficiency of current internal combustion engines in cars, planes, etc. Ultimately through this work, I hope to serve as a voice for change in energy policy.

I feel fortunate to have received a fellowship for my graduate studies at Stanford. Without that support, I wouldn’t be here. I am a triplet and my parents would have had difficulty paying for my graduate education on top of putting all three of us through an undergraduate program. Stanford has been an incredible place for me. In addition to getting to do research that I’m passionate about, as a student here I’ve had the opportunity to take classes in areas including entrepreneurship and ethics. These topics may not be directly related to my research, but they are very important to me as a scientist who hopes to make positive impact in the world.

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