School of Science & Engineering

AU professor brings professional experiences to Google

Dr. Scott Kennedy with student in labDr. Scott Kennedy, professor of chemistry at Anderson University, is currently in California working at Google Life Sciences as a guest researcher. Though the assignment Kennedy has is top secret, his experiences leading to this opportunity are not.

“Scott is an outstanding scientist and a valued professor in AU’s School of Science & Engineering,” said Dr. Chad Wallace, dean of the School of Science and Engineering. “I was not surprised to learn that Google Life Sciences recruited him.” [Photo credit: John Cleary at The Herald Bulletin]

Kennedy has a bachelor of science in materials science engineering, and a master’s of science and Ph.D. in polymer science engineering.

During his tenure at Anderson University, Kennedy has taught a broad range of courses in chemistry and physics and maintains an active research program studying the antimicrobial properties of polymer solutions and polymeric coatings.

In 2010, Kennedy partnered with his colleagues in the department of physical sciences and engineering to form Aurum Consulting, a scientific consulting firm that provides services to small businesses and educators in central Indiana. In addition to meeting the needs of its clients, Aurum Consulting also provides internship and research opportunities to Anderson University students.

Kennedy places a high importance on his daily interaction with students. By earning an MBA from Anderson University in 2012, his goal was “to better understand the demands that are being placed on young, professional scientists and engineers as they enter a work environment that is very different from the environment encountered by previous generations.”

Kennedy and Wallace, along with chemistry professor Dr. Scott Carr and physics associate professor Dr. John Millis, initiated a two-week summer program available for Anderson University’s inaugural Research Experience for Teachers (RET). The project identified is a collaborative effort between researchers at Anderson University and Dr. Barry Hicks at the United States Air Force. The work aims to chemically modify fluorescent proteins so they can be chemically bound into hydrogels.

Participants in RET will work directly with Wallace to synthesize and purify a chemical reagent used to modify the fluorescent proteins. Work with Dr. Kimberly Lyle-Ippolito, professor of biology, will focus on expressing and purifying the fluorescent proteins from genetically modified E. coli cultures. Over the second week, participants will synthesize a series of hydrogels and utilize a fluorescence spectrometer to measure the levels at which the fluorescent proteins can be bound into hydrogels.

With the addition of electrical and mechanical engineering majors, programs initiated like RET, and professors gaining valuable experience through guest research at Google Life Sciences, Anderson University’s science programs are continuing to see growth among prospective students.

“The obvious quality and heart of AU’s science and engineering faculty has been one of the best kept secrets in central Indiana,” said Wallace. “It will not be for long."