Tag: Awards

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Chinmoyee Das

I was first introduced to Forest Biomaterials during my master’s degree in Germany. Previously I had known forest-based materials, predominantly wood is used as fuel, construction material and making paper. I was completely awestruck when I came across such advanced applications of wood, where every monomer of wood can be specifically used in advanced materials, and I decided this is what I wanted to do in the future. 

I started my PhD here at Michigan Tech in Summer 2019, in the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences with Dr. Xinfeng Xie as my advisor. In my research I focus on the incorporation of biocarbon, that is essentially carbon developed from biomass, into polymer matrices to develop reinforced and electrically conductive composite materials. The goal of this study is to develop materials that can be used as lightweight conductive automotive parts. The comprises of formulation, fabrication and characterization of the composites with a goal of future commercial application in automotive industry, as a replacement for conventional polymer composites. 

I am highly indebted to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory panel for considering and awarding me this fellowship. I am extremely grateful to my advisor Dr. Xie for his constant support and guidance. In this journey not only did my skills and experiences grow and improve, they also contributed to my growth as a person.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Li Wei

I started working on my Ph.D. in Fall 2016 at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with Prof. Zhaohui Wang. I previously obtained my M.S. from the University of Connecticut and my B.S. from Xi’an Jiaotong University in China. My research has focused on underwater acoustic communication and networking technology. 

At Michigan Tech, I first developed a comprehensive experiment system for both simulation and field underwater acoustic communication and networking experiments, which facilitated several field experiments in Keweenaw Waterway, Lake Superior, and a joint field experiment with UCLA in Marina del Rey. With the abundant field experiment data collected by this system, I explored the generative models of the underwater acoustic channel impulse response with deep learning. The generative models can further enhance the performance of reinforcement learning models for optimizing configurations of an underwater acoustic network system. I plan to continue my research and development works on underwater acoustic communication systems after I finish my Ph.D.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Graduate College of Michigan Technological University for their continuous support in achieving my Ph.D. goals. My special thank goes to my research advisor Prof. Zhaohui Wang, my committee members, and also all the lab members in our research group for their invaluable guidance and help.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Manas Warke

I began my doctoral research in the Department of Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University in the Spring of 2018. Before joining MTU, I obtained my B. Engg in Biotechnology from Mumbai University, India, in 2017. I worked in Dr. Dibyendu Sarkar’s lab at Stevens Institute of Technology, NJ, in the Fall of 2017.  

I was fortunate to work with Dr. Rupali Datta from the beginning of my Ph.D. My dissertation focuses on three aspects of arsenic-contaminated soil – investigating the effect of soil-Arsenic on human health, developing a technique to reduce the Arsenic accumulation in rice grains, and exploring plant-microbe interaction in an arsenic-contaminated environment.

I also had the opportunity to work on other projects like the Lead phytoremediation funded by the Housing and Urban Department and health risk estimation due to toxic metal accumulation in wild rice.

I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Rupali Datta, for her support and guidance. I would also like to thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for awarding me the finishing fellowship. This award will allow me to focus my efforts on completing my dissertation document and preparing for my defense.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Parya Siahcheshm

In the spring of 2017, I started my journey at MTU as a Ph.D. student in Chemistry. The focus of my Ph.D. research is on the design and development of carbon dots (CDs) which are fluorescent nanomaterials with great potential in sensing and bioimaging. During my Ph.D., I could successfully synthesize high quantum yield CDs for iron ions sensing with the potential to be used in the clinical diagnosis of iron-related diseases or environmental monitoring of water quality. Also, I investigated the design of near-infrared nitrogen-doped CDs that would be ideal for bioimaging applications.

It is a great honor to receive the Doctoral Finishing Fellowship, and I am grateful to the graduate school and the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for their support. Through this fellowship, I will be able to focus on writing my dissertation and publishing my work in journals. Additionally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my advisor, Dr. Patricia Heiden, for her help and support throughout my Ph.D. journey.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Sambhawana Sharma

I started my Ph.D. journey in Fall 2017 as a graduate student in the Department of Physics under Dr. Dongyan Zhang and Dr. Yoke Khin Yap. Prior to that, I completed my Master’s degree from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. 

My Ph.D. research focuses on the synthesis and application of Boron Nitride (BN) nanostructures specifically nanotubes (1D) and dots (0D). BN nanostructures have gained much attention due to their unique optoelectronic and biocompatible properties. Controlling the diameter of BN nanotubes using Catalytic Chemical Vapor Deposition (CCVD) is one of the major challenges especially getting a smaller diameter (<20nm). I was able to reduce the diameter of the BN nanotubes to 10-20nm using CCVD in contrast to >20nm from earlier research. These small diameter nanotubes can be used in electronic as well as biomedical applications. Besides nanotubes, I have developed a procedure to synthesize BN dots, zero-dimensional fluorescent materials. I have successfully used these dots for fabricating solar cells, in the future, this can be used in solar panels for clean energy generation. Further, I am currently evaluating the potential of using these self-fluorescing dots as fluorescent tags on RNA inside cells. If successful, this can be used for bio-imaging and as an RNA therapeutic for different kinds of diseases. Initial biocompatibility and cell internalization test performed in Hela cells (cervical cancer cells) are showing promising results.   

I am thankful to my advisors, Dr. Zhang and Dr. Yap, for their constant guidance throughout my Ph.D. journey. I am extremely grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for providing this finishing fellowship award at this moment. This fellowship will help me focus more on writing my dissertation and graduate on time

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Tong Gao

I started my Ph.D. program in the Physics Department at Michigan Tech in the fall of 2017 and joined Dr. Nakamura’s group. There I focused on studying lithium dendrite growth in electrolytes using Monte Carlo simulations and deep neural networks in machine learning methods. Motivated by our collaborator’s experiment, I discovered a new mechanism for inhibiting the dendrite growth with large organic salts, such as ionic liquids. Through my research and coursework experiences, I have solidified my confidence in various physics subjects. These include soft-matter physics, solid-state physics, computational physics, physical chemistry, and computer science. As I approach the end of my Ph.D. program, I am currently addressing the challenge of overcoming the vast computational expense of molecular dynamics simulations for salt-free and salt-doped liquids. In order to address this, I am further developing my deep neural network models.

I have enjoyed my Ph.D. life; Houghton has the most beautiful summers I have ever seen. I greatly appreciate the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel and the Dean for granting me the Finishing Fellowship. I would also like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Issei Nakamura, for his enlightening guidance throughout my research, as well as the Physics Department for all their support.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Priyanka Kadav

I completed my bachelor’s in science (2012) and master’s in science (2014) both in Microbiology from India.  I worked as an intern in the Department of Molecular Biology, Bhabha Atomic Research Center, one of India’s premier nuclear research institutes. There my interest in research grew stronger, and I decided to pursue doctoral research. I moved to the US in 2015 to obtain a second master’s degree in Forest Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology. I joined the Department of Chemistry in 2017 to begin my Doctoral studies in the Laboratory of Mechanistic Glycobiology under the guidance of Dr. Tarun Dam. My doctoral research focuses on a novel protein purification technique that we developed in our lab. My other research project is based on the structure-function relationship of a mutated cancer-related protein Galectin-3. Wet-bench research, scientific journal publications and presenting my work at several conferences groomed me to become a better scientist and expanded my knowledge in the field of Protein Biochemistry and Glycobiology.

I would like to extend my sincere thanks to my advisor for his guidance and having faith in me and am also thankful to the Department of Chemistry for giving me this opportunity to conduct my doctoral research. I am grateful to the Graduate School for awarding me a Finishing Fellowship, which will be immensely helpful to finish up my doctoral studies.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Jared Edwards

Born and raised in the Upper Peninsula, I started my journey in Manistique, MI and since then have slowly migrated an hour and a half northwest every handful of years. The first time was after high school where I then attended undergraduate studies at NMU and discovered I enjoyed research under some wonderful professors. The second time was to come here to MTU and conduct my doctoral research under Dr. Tarun Dam in the Lab of Mechanistic Glycobiology. We perform biochemical studies on therapeutically promising plant biomolecules as well as human proteins associated with diseases. We carry out fundamental investigations into the behavior of molecules in living systems. This has led me to learn a multitude of incredible techniques and instrumentation skills, foremost being electron microscopy here on campus which is now a passion of mine. I believe we do fascinating work while striving to always put our best foot forward. I would like to thank Michigan Tech and our graduate school for awarding me with the Finishing Fellowship, it is a great assistance to myself and our lab.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Summer 2022 Recipient – Pradeep Bhat

I started as a PhD student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics in 2017. Before coming to MTU, I was working in Mahindra Research Valley in Chennai, India as an Engineer. I finished my Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Mumbai University, India. I had a desire and curiosity to participate in academic research which led to me looking for graduate study opportunities. The goal of my proposed research is to advance eco-driving research for energy savings considering connected and automated environment. Enhancements in the transportation sector can be brought by Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) as they improve traffic throughout and automobile efficiency. Every vehicle in a connected environment can communicate and share its travel behavior, local traffic information, energy consumption, nearby traffic congestion, and road accidents. The advancement of intelligent transportation systems (ITS) and traffic monitoring systems provides opportunities to share short-term future information. The emerging ITS technologies include but are not limited to the Dedicated Short-Range Communication (DSRC), on-board vehicle receivers, e-horizon solutions, detailed offline and/or online maps, and real-time communication with service providers/government agencies. These improvements create opportunities for the innovation, research and development of connected and automated vehicles.

I am fortunate to be able to learn and work in the interdisciplinary area of research. I would like to express gratitude to the Department and Graduate school for accepting my application. Thereby, giving me an opportunity to join MTU as a student. Also, sincere thanks to graduate school for the fellowship award.  My special thanks to Dr. Bo Chen my advisor for accepting me as her student and guiding me during the research. Also, to all the committee members (Dr. Jeffery D Naber, Dr. Darrell L Robinette, and Dr. Stephen A Hackney) for their time and guidance.

DeVlieg Graduate Summer 2022 Research Recipient – Emily Shaw

I am a settler scholar living and working within the Anishinaabe Ojibwe homelands of Northern Michigan. Currently, I am a PhD candidate, at Michigan Technological University, in environmental engineering doing research that bridges knowledge systems to understand mixture toxicity. As an indiginist researcher, my work rebuilds systems of accountability and responsibility between humans and the environment that are aligned to Anishinaabe philosophies. Prior to graduate school, I earned a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. For four years, I was the Education and Volunteer Coordinator at Inland Seas Education Association, a non-profit in Suttons Bay, MI with a mission to inspire a lifetime of Great Lakes curiosity, stewardship, and passion in people of all ages. In the two years leading up to graduate school I spent most of my time in Antarctica, washing dishes at the South Pole research station and hiking and sailing throughout New Zealand. Now I enjoy exploring Houghton, playing roller derby, and gardening.

Michigan Tech gratefully acknowledges support from The DeVlieg Foundation for the DeVlieg Summer Research Award.