Freshman earns $150,000 in science competition

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On September 1, 2020

Brendan Crotty

Brendan Crotty during the awards ceremony for the Regeneron Science Talent Search. Photo courtesy of the Society for Science & the Public.

Brendan Crotty, an S&T freshman from Muskogee, Oklahoma, earned third place in the 79th Regeneron Science Talent Search – a science and mathematics competition for high school seniors. 

Crotty received a $150,000 award. Forty finalists, including Crotty, were honored during a virtual award ceremony. Regeneron awarded more than $1.8 million to the finalists, who were evaluated based on the scientific rigor of their projects, their problem-solving abilities and their potential to become scientific leaders.

Crotty’s project involved designing and building an efficient hybrid gas burner that could help reduce the ecological impact of industries like power generation and materials manufacturing. His specialized burner system operates at higher temperatures than current industrial burners yet emits 19% less polluting nitrogen dioxide gas. To build his model, Crotty had to become proficient in computer design software, metal casting and machining. 

“Engineering and manufacturing has always been a passion of mine,” Crotty says. “Over the last five years, I have studied combustion and burner systems for ultra-high-temperature materials processing. The main goal of my research is the reduction of pollution.”

The Regeneron Science Talent Search provides a national stage for young minds to present their original research ideas to leading scientists. The competition celebrates the hard work and creativity of students who are using research to spark conversation. The competition is sponsored by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. and is a Society for Science & the Public program. The competition has been held since 1942 and program alumni include recipients of 11 National Medals of Science, five Breakthrough Prizes, 21 MacArthur Foundation Fellowships, two Fields Medals and 13 Nobel Prizes.  For more information about the talent search, visit

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On September 1, 2020. Posted in Accomplishments