Nicolas Amelinez-Robles

Nicolas Amelinez-Robles was born in Cali, Colombia and moved to Madison, WI at the age of two. He graduated from James Madison Memorial High School and is planning on majoring in chemical or biomedical engineering at Columbia University.

Nicolas was first exposed to research in the field of chemical engineering in the summer of 2018, where he worked alongside graduate students at the Huber Research Group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to create a cost-effective mechanism to hydrolyze lactose. The project originated out of the need to incentivize dairy companies to dispose of acid whey responsibly, a by-product of industrial processes containing lactose and protein that severely degrades the environment when companies dispose of it recklessly. Nicolas also worked on a procedure to build galactooligosaccharides for infant formula to boost the immune systems in babies. Together, this collective lab experience which involved characterization techniques and equipment like MALDI-TOF, HPLC, GC and NMR is what inspired him to look to science and engineering to help the general public. He aspires to apply the skills he developed there at Columbia to create innovative solutions to problems humanity faces, and as an Egleston Scholar he plans to take as much advantage of the research opportunities he has been presented with. He specifically hopes to work with neurodegenerative disease at some point in his professional career.

Outside of research, Nicolas played the piano for fourteen years, taking lessons from doctoral students at UW-Madison as a part of the Piano Pioneers program, an initiative developed to give students experience in teaching. He also competed in public forum debate, played soccer and tennis, volunteered with an organization called NextGen America, a voter-mobilization group and ran Scholars of Color, a group to help minority students succeed in accelerated classes and gain access to extracurricular learning opportunities and training. In his free time, he enjoys observational drawing, specifically with charcoal, reading and rock climbing.