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Recycling Research Foundation names 2018 National Scholarship winner

University of Michigan student Kyle Syndergaard focusing studies on material efficiency

Recycling Research Foundation names 2018 National Scholarship winner

The Recycling Research Foundation (RRF), a nonprofit organization closely associated with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), has announced Kyle Syndergaard as the recipient of its 2018 National Scholarship. Recognizing the need for affordable graduate education, the scholarship awards $5,000 to an individual seeking a graduate degree in a field that supports the scrap processing and recycling industry as a whole. 

"The Recycling Research Foundation is proud to award its National Scholarship to Kyle Syndergaard," said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. "He is someone who at a very early age recognized the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and developed a passion for it. This passion drove him to study and seek a career in material efficiency, of which recycling plays a large role. Whatever road Kyle decides to take, whether it be policy making, design for recycling, or the development of innovate processing technology, there is no doubt he has a bright future in this industry."

Kyle Syndergaard was born and raised in Pocatello, Idaho. He attended Brigham Young University - Idaho to study mechanical engineering. After graduation, he pursued a short career in the agricultural equipment business, but quickly saw a need for more advanced ways to reduce the amount of scrap produced during product manufacturing and recycle it more effectively. He left his job and returned to school at the University of Michigan to research the growing field of material efficiency, which is a collection of tactics for reducing the amount of material we use to provide goods and services. He and his wife, Christina, have two children.

"I hope to one day be involved in large-scale projects or policy changes which can shape the future of recycling in the U.S. and across the world, but I recognize that even with the research I'm performing my knowledge and practical experience is limited," said Syndergaard. "Because of that, I feel it's important for me to spend some time in industry, preferably working for a U.S. based manufacturer so I can help to approach these problems on the smaller scale of an individual company. As I gain experience and intuition about the issues facing manufacturers today, I will hopefully expand my influence through promotions and leadership roles before eventually leaving to perform work at a larger scale, potentially at the national or global level."

The Recycling Research Foundation's mission is to promote the art and science of scrap processing and recycling through research, sponsorships, technical assistance, and educational programs for the purpose of advancing the industry. Over the last 10 years, the Foundation has fulfilled this mission in two primary areas; the offering of scholarships to both undergraduate and graduate students, and the funding of research beneficial to the industry. Since 2002, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.3 million in scholarships to more than 1,000 students and has overseen much needed research into the science and technology involved with recycling.

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