In late June, Cochran, along with nearly 550 other young researchers from about 78 countries, attended the elite gathering in Lindau to discuss topics on an array of chemistry topics. Students and researchers alike used the forum to voice their ideas and discuss various projects all while building international networks.
Three main themes were discussed at this year's Nobel Laureate Meeting: Green Chemistry, Chemical Energy Storage and Conversion and Biochemical Processes and Structures. They align with Cochran's research interest, which focuses on analytical chemistry methodologies and instrumentation to solve complex problems to understand atmospheric chemical processes.
Cochran considers the Nobel Laureate Meeting a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"I have not only had the honor of hearing seminars given by various Nobel Laureates in chemistry, but I have also had many opportunities to have one-on-one conversations with them," Cochran said. "This dialogue has provided me with wisdom not only on a scientific level, but on a personal and professional level as well.
"This meeting has given me insight into the direct influences that great scientific discoveries can and will have on both the scientific community and general society."
UND has helped Cochran prepare for not only the Nobel Laureate Meeting but also his future scientific endeavors.
"(UND) has allowed me to grow in becoming a young scientific researcher," he said. "This has included invaluable mentorship by my supervisor and mentor, Dr. Alena Kubatova, as well as time spent in the classroom and through various activities as the President of the Chemistry Graduate Student Association.
The Nobel Laureate Meeting is just a stepping stone for Cochran, who says he hopes to one day "become a senior researcher at a government research agency, such as the EPA, DOE, or FBI, and contribute to either the environmental or forensic science community by conducting innovative and cutting-edge research."