Passion for research yields amazing find

chemistry_main1Brian Krohn originally came to Augsburg to study film, but after only one semester without any science classes, this lifelong scientist felt “so deprived” that he officially changed his major to chemistry.

Growing up in Cloquet, Minnesota, Brian was always working on random projects — an electromagnet, a go-cart, various potato cannons, numerous attempts at tree forts, a lamp made from a car headlight, and a 15′ tall trebuchet. He even built a banjo from a mail-order kit. “I didn’t want to waste the money on buying a banjo, because I am musically inept, but I wanted to learn how to play one,” he said. He learned a couple of songs, but ultimately his interest in the banjo waned.

Though chemistry was his area of study, he was unsure where the degree would lead him. “I thought with a degree in chemistry, I could only be a teacher or a pharmacist,” he said. Then in the summer of 2006, Brian received a grant to do research, one of his passions, from Augsburg’s Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity (URGO) program. He and his adviser, chemistry professor Arlin Gyberg, were both interested in biodiesel, so Brian set out to find a more efficient way to produce the fuel. Continue reading