Junior chemistry major Nicolas Padilla, from Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, is living his college experience to the fullest. Although he’s busy with upper-level science courses and undergraduate research, Padilla still manages to display a fun-loving attitude and complete readiness to take on any challenge.
Coming into UW-Madison, he already knew that he wanted to study chemistry. He says UW-Madison’s reputation for excellence in research only made him more excited to come to Madison.
Having worked with the Goldsmith group since October 2014, Padilla helps with research on lithium batteries. The group monitors lithium flow in the batteries to expand their lifetimes and to make them safer. Padilla’s project looks at how lithium behaves in a running battery. The group hopes to implement new methods to prevent degradation and electrical shorts.
Outside of school, Padilla enjoys spending time with friends, being involved with his church, and learning outside of class. He also runs the social media accounts for Associated Students of Madison (ASM).
The junior is currently taking a graduate-level laser class that relates to his research project. It’s been very challenging but also eye-opening.
Padilla received the Saco Polymers Scholarship from the department in 2015, which is helping him continue his research experience this academic year. Upon graduating in 2017, he plans to enroll in graduate school.