Graduate Student Spotlight
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." -- Benjamin Franklin

Ellen Emanuel

Master's Student
Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering
Hometown: Gretna, NE
Thesis: Cellulosic Ethanol Production

What do you enjoy most about UNL?:

I love the small-town feel of UNL even though it’s a big campus. It seems like every time I meet someone new, we discover we have mutual friends or acquaintances. The school spirit from all the students, support from the Lincoln community and, really, the whole state builds a strong sense of community and belonging.

Are you involved in any activities outside of class? If so, which ones?:

Outside class I like running, rock climbing and traveling. As an undergraduate I was an active member of the Navigators.

Of all the courses you’ve taken, what is your favorite class, and what made it so enjoyable?:

My favorite class so far is either biochemistry or the chemical engineering laboratory I. In biochemistry I loved combining chemistry and biology because they make so much more sense together than learning them separately. It was a chance to apply knowledge from both classes. In the chemical engineering lab, I enjoyed working with pilot-scale unit operations. It was so helpful to see and work with the equipment rather than just learning about the theory of it in class.

What has been your greatest achievement so far?:

My greatest achievements thus far are when I positively impact people’s lives. Nothing compares to the honor of someone saying, “I did this because you inspired me in this way.”

What do you plan to do after you graduate?:

I plan to find a career in the biofuel and bioprocessing industry.

Do you have any advice that you would like to share with prospective students?:

I’d encourage prospective students to join the UNL BSE department and get involved right away through clubs and research opportunities. There are many amazing research projects in this department and all of the staff and faculty are so friendly and supportive. This is a great place to pursue your best future.