Who:
Vincent Couming, Presidential Global Scholar and a sophomore chemical engineering major.

Where:
Hyogo, Japan.

When:
July to December 2012.

What he’s doing:
Couming is spending his first co-op at SPring-8 (and, yes, that’s how it’s spelled), the largest of only three facilities worldwide to provide a form of radiation called synchrotron that produces light 1 billion times brighter than a conventional X-ray. Using this “super eye,” the budding researcher is teaming up with scientists from Japanese industrial company Advanced Softmaterials Inc., to perfect a superdurable medical gel that surgeons will use as an alternative to traditional stitches and staples.

What’s next:
Couming wants to pursue materials science (a blend of chemistry, physics, and engineering) in graduate school, and eventually work in clean energy and energy storage. But before that, he plans to do more research co-ops—ideally in green energy—through Northeastern. “Like with my work at SPring-8, I want to have a major impact through research that leads to products that really help people.”