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Sarah Yribarren | Student Spotlight

Sarah Yribarren

Sarah Yribarren 

BS Candidate
Chemical Engineering

"When I started at Stanford, I had never considered pursuing Chemical Engineering. I lacked a strong background in STEM and had no prior exposure to engineering or scientific research. However, my perspective shifted when I realized the immense potential of Chemical Engineering to address environmental, social, and ethical challenges across all industries and sectors of modern society. To my surprise, I discovered a genuine passion for math, physics, and chemistry and found that I had a knack for these subjects. 

I am grateful for the many research experiences I have been a part of at Stanford. I participated in iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) in my freshman year, working in Prof. Endy's lab. In that role, I contributed to genetically engineering bacteria to respond to specific DNA sequences in their environment. Following my sophomore year, I worked in the Cargnello Group, focusing on synthesizing high-entropy alloy nanoparticles of various metals to develop improved heterogeneous catalysts. Presently, I work in the Tarpeh Lab, where I assist in scaling up a novel wastewater treatment method that utilizes electrochemistry to selectively recover ammonia (a fertilizer and commodity chemical) from urine.

These hands-on research experiences have become the most fulfilling aspect of my education at Stanford by demonstrating my capability to engage in highly technical and purpose-driven work. I am deeply grateful for the supportive environment of our department, and the remarkable support of the faculty and graduate TAs, which has contributed to my success in a field that began so foreign to me.

While I remain uncertain about my plans after completing my undergraduate studies, I am dedicated to employing chemical engineering principles to contribute to a more sustainable, just, and equitable world."

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