Tag: Chemical Engineering

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2024 Recipient – Utkarsh Shailesh Chaudhari

With a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from India and my commitment to never stop learning, the journey of my Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering began in August 2017 at Michigan Technological University (MTU). My passion and eagerness to learn new things led me to work voluntarily on multiple sustainability-related research projects during my Master’s degree, which also helped me in earning a Graduate Certificate in Sustainability in 2019. I soon realized that there are still a lot of things to explore and learn more about while contributing my efforts to ensure a sustainable world. With this idea in mind, the journey of my PhD in Chemical Engineering started in the Summer of 2019 in Dr. David Shonnard’s research group.

As a part of my research, we developed a systems analysis framework to identify the major plastic supply chain processes starting with production of plastics to the end-of-life management of waste plastics in the U.S. Furthermore, it expands on evaluating and optimizing the supply chain processes to minimize the environmental impacts such as greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption of the entire system. My research also identified different types of commercially existing and newly emerging advanced or chemical recycling technologies for waste plastics and estimated their environmental and economic feasibility to compare against fossil-based traditional technologies that produce plastics. Additionally, our research also addressed the socio-economic impacts such as employment, revenues, and annual wage generation across the entire plastic supply chains due to increased recovery and recycling of plastics. I am incredibly grateful to work with various collaborators from national laboratories, industry partners, and different universities.

I would like to thank the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel as well as the Dean for their kind recommendation to approve my Finishing Fellowship application for the Spring 2024 semester. This fellowship would allow me to dedicate my time and efforts to prepare better and achieve my final PhD research goals. I would also like to thank my advisor Dr. David Shonnard for his continuous support and guidance throughout my PhD journey. His timely advice has not only helped me to develop critical research skills but has also contributed significantly to my personal and professional growth. I also extend my gratitude to all the faculty and staff in the department of Chemical Engineering for their teachings and assistance. Additionally, I would like to thank my family members for their never-ending support, motivation, love, and blessings. Finally, I am extremely excited about the next steps in my professional career to help build a more sustainable, circular (waste-free), and safer world!

“Passion. Hard work. Consistency. Struggle. Patience. Sky is the limit.”- Self.

Key research areas: Systems analysis, Plastics supply chain, Recycling, Life Cycle Assessment, Techno-economic Analysis, Sustainability, Circular Economy

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award– Spring & Fall 2022 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award!

Noah Agata- Mechanical Engineering
Arslan Amer- Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Manuel Anderson- Applied Ecology
Yasasya Uthpalawarna Ariyadasa Batugedara Batugedara Mohottalalage- Mathematical Sciences
Kendall Belopavlovich- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Kwadwo Ampadu Boateng- Civil Engineering
Aidan Botkin- Mathematical Sciences
Mohanish Kishor Chandurkar- Biomedical Engineering
Louis Chapin- Environmental Engineering
Tania Demonte Gonzalez- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Alayna Farrell- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Logan Fike- Geology
Samantha Fincannon- Electrical Engineering
Mahalakshmi Madhoolika Jammalamadaka- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Larissa Juip- Indust Heritage & Archaeology
Michelle Kelly- Biological Sciences
Ronald Kyllonen- Mechanical Engineering
Kenneth Larsen- Engineering – Environmental
Hyeseon Lee- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Tyler Lemahieu- Environmental Engineering
Isaac Lennox- Kinesiology
Fredrica Markson Eduaful- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Nusrat Irin Chowdhury Mary- Computer Engineering
Venkata Satya Sai Revanth Mattey- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Kathryn Miller- Electrical & Computer Engineer
Oindabi Mukherjee- Physics
Monica Mame Soma Nyansa- Chemistry
Ikechukwu Emmanuel Okoh- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Jonathan Oleson- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Melanie Ottino- For Molec Genetics & Biotec
Shashank Pathrudkar- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Meara Pellar-Kosbar- Data Science
Hailee Petosky- Biological Sciences
Evan Ricchio-Hitchcock- Geological Engineering
Noah Squires- Mechanical Engineering
Caleb Swain- Computer Science
Shruti Rajiv Vaidya- Electrical & Computer Engineer
Elizabeth Wahmhoff- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Aaron Wildenborg- Applied Physics
Kieran Young- Computer Science
Zhongtian Zhang- Biomedical Engineering
Noah Zins- Electrical & Computer Engineer

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award– Spring & Fall 2021 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award!

Shahriar Alam- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Behnam Azmoon- Civil Engineering
Roya Bagheri- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Tanner Barnes- Forest Ecology & Mgmt
Beth Bartel- Geology
Claudia Irmgard Bartlick-Georg- Forest Science
Parth Parimalbhai Bhatt- Forest Science
Shiying Cai- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Marina Choy- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Madhureeta Das- Computer Engineering
Akshay Shankarrao Dongre- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Ian Gannon- Geological Engineering
Gaurish Shreedhar Gokhale- Electrical Engineering
David Hallberg- Electrical Engineering
Ian Herzog- Physics
Madhur Arun Jagtap- Electrical Engineering
Joshua Kemppainen- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Seth Kriz- Chemical Engineering
Jessica LaReaux- Civil Engineering
Arianna Laiho- Kinesiology
Nicholas Newberry- Chemistry
Abhishek Patil- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Yugandhara Yuvraj Patil- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Ashwin Karthik Purushothaman- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Ashfiqur Rahman- Electrical Engineering
Gurijala Venkat Prithvi Reddy- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Reihaneh Samsami- Civil Engineering
Mujeeb Olushola Shittu- Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Kevin Sunderland- Biomedical Engineering
Arman Tatar- Civil Engineering
Shardul Tiwari- Environmental & Energy Policy
Laura Vidal Chiesa- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Karlee Westrem- Mathematical Sciences

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award– Spring & Fall 2020 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award!

Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Emily Anible- Mathematical Sciences
Aynaz Biniyaz- Civil Engineering
James Davis- Electrical Engineering
William Dion- Biological Sciences
Dylan Gaines- Computer Science
Ryan Ghannam- Biochemistry/Molecular Biology
Anindya Ghoshroy- Electrical Engineering
Dongzhao Jin- Civil Engineering
Shreya Joshi- Atmospheric Sciences
Jeffrey Kabel- Applied Physics
Sarah LewAllen- Biological Sciences
Weibing Li- Statistics
Sergio Miguel Lopez Ramirez- Civil Engineering
Evan Lucas- Electrical Engineering
Susan Mathai- Atmospheric Sciences
Ali Moazzam- Electrical Engineering
Kate Nelson- Geophysics
Shane Oberloier- Electrical Engineering
Divya Kamlesh Pandya- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
K M Niaz Reza- Electrical Engineering
Nelmary Rodriguez Sepulveda- Geology
Udit Sharma- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Cameron Shock- Physics
Ariana Smies- Biomedical Engineering
Mehnaz Tabassum- Electrical Engineering
Cora Taylor- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Mikhail Ana Lise Francese Trought- Chemistry
Matthew VanderMolen- Forest Ecology & Mgmt
Isaac Wedig- Integrative Physiology
Menghan Zhao- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award– Spring & Fall 2019 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award!

Jesse Anderson- Atmospheric Sciences
Swapnil Sambhaji Bamane- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Alexandra Bieri- Mathematical Sciences
Jessica Bruning- Integrative Physiology
Nattaporn Chuenjarern- Mathematical Sciences
Brian Danhoff- Biological Sciences
Ahammad Basha Dudekula- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Lisa Eggart- Physics
Siddharth Bharat Gopujkar- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Cameron Hansel- Mechanical Engineering
Salman Husain- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Katelyn Kring- Geological Engineering
Daniel Kulas- Chemical Engineering
William Lytle- Environmental & Energy Policy
Mehdi Malekrah- Electrical Engineering
Lauren Mancewicz- Engineering – Environmental
Michael Maurer- Electrical Engineering
Niranjan Miganakallu Narasimhamurthy- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Tino Moore- Computer Science
Samerender Nagam Hanumantharao- Biomedical Engineering
Seth Nelson- Applied Physics
William Pisani- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Suraj Prabhu- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Elizabeth Renshaw- Rhetoric, Theory and Culture
Charles Schaerer- Chemistry
Soroush Sepahyar- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Emily Shaw- Engineering – Environmental
Darud E Sheefa- Civil Engineering
Parya Siahcheshm- Chemistry
Samantha Swartzmiller- Mechanical Engineering
Mitchel Timm- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Daniel Trepal- Indust Heritage & Archaeology
Stephania Vaglica- Mechanical Engineering
Sarah Washko- Civil Engineering
Upendra Yadav- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Zhuyong Yang- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics
Jiachen Zhai- Mechanical Eng-Eng Mechanics

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2022 Recipient – Victor Claremboux

I completed my B.S. (2015) and M.S. (2020) in Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. As a graduate student I am completing my studies with Professor Kawatra in the Department of Chemical Engineering. My work has focused on the efficient and sustainable processing of raw and waste materials in mineral processing, which includes iron ore processing, carbon dioxide capture and utilization, and rare earth extraction from waste materials such as red mud. This work has led to several publications, including a highly cited review on the flotation of iron ores. My dissertation will build upon my master’s thesis and focus on understanding the intricacies of pelletizing iron ore to minimize waste and environmental concerns such as fine dusts.
I am grateful to Professor Kawatra and my committee for the support and guidance he has provided over my years at Michigan Tech, to my fellow graduate students under Professor Kawatra for being there to bounce ideas off of and to share insightful discussions with, and to my high school chemistry teacher who suggested Michigan Technological University to me in the first place.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2021 Recipient – Ruiting Zhan

I began my Ph.D. study in 2017 and have been working with Dr. Lei Pan in the Department of Chemical Engineering. I previously obtained a Master of Science degree from the same department in 2017 and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Chemistry from Hunan University in 2014. 

My research focuses on the application of mineral processing methods towards lithium-ion battery recycling activities. With the surging worldwide sales of Electric Vehicles in recent years, proper management and disposal methods on retired batteries are needed to prevent environmental pollutions and to scavenge valuable materials back into the supply chain. With the guidance of Dr. Lei Pan, I have been working on exploring and investigating physical methods to recycle and separate materials from lithium-ion battery scraps. High grade and high recovery of valuable cathode electrode materials can be obtained with preserved function integrities. Other components include copper, aluminum, electrolyte, and battery-grade graphite can be separated and concentrated through physical separation processes. 

I would like to thank the Graduate School, Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel, and the Graduate School for providing me with the Finishing Fellowship award. This will allow me to focus on writing and defending my dissertation in Fall 2021.

Michigan Space Grant Consortium graduate fellowship application support

The Graduate School is offering support services to assist graduate students in applying for the Michigan Space Grant Consortium’s Graduate Fellowship, including a workshop and one-on-one writing support.

MSGC’s Graduate Fellowship opportunity supports graduate students from affiliate
institutions who are conducting research and public service projects relevant to NASA’s strategic interests as expressed in NASA’s 2014 & 2018 Strategic Plans, specifically, research focused on aerospace, space science, and earth system science. Graduate students working in other, related science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields are also eligible to apply. Starting this year, MSGC is piloting an expanded definition of STEM to include support for interdisciplinary projects that include art, so graduate students conducting research and projects relevant to NASA’s strategic interests in disciplines not traditionally considered STEM, such as the humanities or social sciences, are likewise encouraged to apply.

Fellowship recipients are awarded $5,000. To be eligible, applicants must be U.S. nationals, have a good academic record, and be in good academic standing. Women, under-represented minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Students currently receiving MSGC Fellowships are eligible to reapply.

Workshop information: Overview and tips from an MSGC Fellowship reviewer
Date and Time: Friday, September 17th, from 11:00 AM – 11:50 AM
Location: Admin 404
Presenter: Will Cantrell, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School
Host: Sarah Isaacson, GLAS Program Director, sisaacso@mtu.edu
Register here: https://forms.gle/RSPYtUHVD6Yjimou6
A recording of the workshop will be available beginning September 21st.

Wednesday, Nov. 3 at noon — Internal deadline for undergraduate and graduate fellowship proposals
Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. — Final materials, after review and approval by SPO, must be uploaded to MSGC by the applicant

For more information and specific application instructions, visit the MSGC website and the MTU Graduate School’s MSGC web page.

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Application Support

The Graduate School is offering support services to assist graduate students in applying for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program, including workshops and one-on-one writing support.  Fellowship recipients earn an annual stipend of $34,000.  To be eligible, applicants must be a U.S. citizen, national, or permanent resident, have never previously applied to GRFP while enrolled in a graduate degree program, have never earned a master’s or professional degree in any field, or completed more than one academic year in a graduate degree-granting program.  Applications are due October 18th – 22nd.  See https://www.nsfgrfp.org/ for full benefits and eligibility details.

Workshop 1: Overview and tips from a former NSF program manager and reviewer
Date and Time: Friday, September 3rd, from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Presenter: Dr. Pushpalatha Murthy, former NSF program manager
Co-hosts: Dr. Debra Charlesworth, former NSF GRFP reviewer, and Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP Support Coordinator
Zoom meeting link: Please make sure to sign in with your MTU account before joining the meeting to be admitted.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/83018958000

Workshop 2: Crafting your statements: Content and organization
Date and Time: Friday, September 10th, from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Presenter: Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP Support Coordinator
Zoom meeting link: Please make sure to sign in with your MTU account before joining the meeting to be admitted.
Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://michigantech.zoom.us/j/82410509516

Personalized writing support:
Applicants will receive support via an NSF GRFP Canvas course as well as individualized writing support on application drafts from qualified staff members.

See https://www.nsfgrfp.org/ for more details. Questions? Contact Sarah Isaacson, NSF GRFP Support Coordinator: sisaacso@mtu.edu

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship Summer 2021 Recipient – Sriram Valluri


Firstly, I want to thank MTU for awarding me the prestigious doctoral finishing fellowship award. I was born and brought up in south India. I did my undergraduate and master’s degree at IIT-Dhanbad, which accepts only the top 1% of students of India every year. For my Ph.D., I was offered a full scholarship at University of Queensland, Australia, and Penn state university, but I rather chose MTU to work under Dr. S. Komar Kawatra.

Prof Komar Kawatra is leading the CO2 capture and utilization research team at Michigan Tech University. Our goal is to capture CO2 from coal-fired power plants at minimal cost and convert CO2 into value-added products like Syn-gas, Oxalic acid, etc. For the last four years, I have worked extensively on carbon capture and utilization projects. I and my team of undergraduate researchers have continuously improved the efficiency of our CO2 scrubber system and also tested the prototype in a pilot-scale environment. We presented our work at International Conferences representing MTU and received applause. I have published several papers on chemical absorption CO2 capture, in high-impact journals.

I Worked on multiple CO2 capture projects and successfully submitted reports. Successfully captured CO2 from Michigan Technological University steam plant as part of my Ph.D. thesis project. I have installed our pilot-scale CO2 scrubber system at the Michigan tech Power plant and reduced the CO2 emissions from 8% to 4%. I have trained Sam Root, a Chem Eng. Freshman on this project, who won national awards in Poster competitions.

Photography and rock climbing are two of my favorite pastimes. I am extremely pleased with my decision to pursue my Ph.D. at MTU. The upper peninsula of Michigan is a photographer’s dream, both in winter and in fall. When I have free time, I like to explore different parts of UP and take some landscape pictures.