King’s love of chemistry takes her to Canada and Peru

Catherine King of Madison will study for a doctorate degree and complete research at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. (CONTRIBUTED)
Catherine King of Madison will study for a doctorate degree and complete research at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Catherine King has been accepted to McGill University in Montreal, Canada and recently was a delegate to a United Nations conference in Peru.

A 2011 graduate of Bob Jones High School, King, 22, is a senior at the University of Alabama. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and chemistry.

For one year-plus at UA, she has completed undergraduate research in Dr. Robin Rogers’ group in the chemistry department. Roger’s group is moving to Montreal and invited King to join them for several years.

“I wanted to get out of Alabama. Their move lined up with my graduation,” King said. Briefly visiting Canada, she “spent a day in Montreal. It’s a beautiful city. I’m excited to see more,” King said.

Initially, she majored in chemical engineering major but opted for a dual major with chemistry. She likes chemistry much more for its research potential, challenge and “getting to try things no one has ever done before.”

She studies chitin, a polymer found in shrimp shells, for making renewable materials.

Recently, she attended the two-week U.N. Conference of Parties on climate change in Lima, Peru. Delegates from countries all around the world discussed and implemented policies.

She attended as Roger’s delegate for the American Chemical Society. “My role was to observe and blog about our experience. We attended talks hosted by different countries and private organizations,” King said. Official delegations were for negotiators only.

She learned about climate change’s effect in world regions and “mitigation policies by governments. My first time in South America was a great experience. Being a U.N. conference, people from all over the world were there, not just Peru.”

After earning her doctorate degree, she plans to continue research, hopefully in industry or national labs. “I would do academia, but I’m not too interested in the teaching aspect,” King said.

Her parents are Jeff and Vicky King. He works for The Boeing Company. She teaches preschool. Catherine’s two brothers attend the University of Alabama and elementary school.

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