Simeon Newman wins big for new scientific discoveries

A picture of Simeon Newman, a chemical engineering student, retrieved via @famufsucoeng on Instagram.

Florida A&M University(FAMU) is known for producing the next generation of innovators in every field. Chemical engineering student Simeon Newman is adding his name to that list. The American Chemical Society, Division of Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering (ACS, PMSE), honored Newman for his work with norovirus inhibition.

Simeon Newman is a FAMU-FSU College of Engineering scholar from Davenport, a small city in Central Florida an hour away from Orlando. The 21-year-old won the ACS 2024 PMSE Division Award for the Best Poster for his work “Developing Modular Glycopolymers for Norovirus Inhibition.” The competition was judged by a group of industry professionals with backgrounds in both government laboratories and academia.

His work alongside Dr. Natalie Arnett created a thermoplastic material to aid water purification. Water supplies can have an excess of nitrates due to run-off or septic drainage. Contaminated water is related to different health concerns, so it is imperative to find purification methods. 

“If consumed in excess, [contaminated water] can deoxygenate blood; resulting in blue baby syndrome and fatigue in older adults,” said Newman.

Newman demonstrates great passion for science and engineering. The scholar explains that he is drawn to engineering because it is at the intersection of the intangible and the tangible.

“The philosophical notion of empiricism underscores science,” said Newman.

His discoveries have made important contributions to the field;Newman’s work with the norovirus has been meticulous, yielding critical real-world applications.

“Curating postulates, scrutinizing experiments, and making conclusions is critical to understanding our natural world,” said Newman. “I am passionate about utilizing the functionality of science to improve our world and investigating the truth.” 

Students are afforded many hands-on experiences through the College of Engineering, something that Newman expresses gratitude for. They are able to get opportunities to learn both in and outside of the classroom. 

“I have been able to cultivate a repertoire of high-quality contacts in the industry and deepen my understanding of science and engineering,” said Newman. “Ranging from internship opportunities, professional conferences, and research experience.”

The young engineer has big dreams for his future endeavors, including furthering his education and becoming an established professional in his field. He intends to deepen his knowledge of science and technology so that he can continue finding solutions and changing the world.

“In the future I aim to receive a PhD within the field of material science & engineering or molecular engineering,” Newman said.  “After receiving my PhD, I want to manage research and development projects within the aerospace industry.” 

Simeon Newman is actively working and serving as a testament to the saying that you can go anywhere from FAMU. His achievements do not go unnoticed.