Philip was a wonderful part of the Creativity Foundation family—he embodied the sprit of creativity in each and every thing he set his mind to: in business, entrepreneurship, and in public service. He was a warm and generous person to his family and friends and to all others who came to know him. Through his work and studies Philip was determined to make the world a better place for everyone. His joy and enthusiasm will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Born in New Jersey and raised in rural Wisconsin, Philip Streich has loved science as long as he can remember, and living on a farm was “like owning a huge laboratory.” It also gave him firsthand experience with environmental problems like soil erosion, pollution, and drought. Philip was home-schooled from 7th grade through high school, took online courses from Stanford University, and attended courses at University of Wisconsin Platteville, where he was drawn to nanotechnology research. Philip’s research contradicted previous assumptions and proved that carbon nanotubes are thermodynamically soluble. His findings may hold the key to using nanoparticles in revolutionary applications, like space elevators, tiny fast nanocomputers, and efficient and inexpensive solar cells. His research entailed designing and building measurement equipment more precise than commercial instruments, and Philip holds numerous patents for his discoveries.
Philip won the 2007 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award. In 2008 he was named a Davidson Fellow Laureate, was honored by Discover magazine as one of the Discover 50 “Best Brains in Science,” and was the youngest and first non-faculty member to be named a University of Wisconsin System “Innovative Scholar of the Year.” His work has been published in the magazines Science and Advanced Materials, and the company he cofounded, Graphene Solutions, was featured in Business Week and won the 2008 WI Governor’s Business Plan top award. As a 2009 Intel Science Talent Search finalist, Philip was elected by the other finalists to win the Glenn T. Seaborg Award for scientific communication and the Creativity Foundation’s 2009 Legacy Medal for his exceptional creative promise as a scientist and entrepreneur.
Philip’s interests are not confined to science, though. In 2006, he took top honors in his state for Piano and Vocal Solo and was National German Exam Winner the following year. He will enter Harvard this fall, where he hopes to combine studies in chemistry, physics, and molecular biology. Politics is another of his passions: Philip is founder and president of Grant County Youth Democrats and is the elected treasurer of the Democratic Party of Grant County. In the long term, Philip hopes to make significant contributions in technological innovation and science policy to help solve the challenges of global warming and the energy crisis.