Tag: Chemistry

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 – 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.

Priyanka Kadav represents Michigan Tech in regional 3MT competition

Priyanka Kadav recently represented Michigan Tech in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) annual meeting. The MAGS meeting was held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from April 6-8, 2022. Priyanka is a PhD candidate in Chemistry advised by Dr. Tarun Dam.

Prior to representing Michigan Tech at MAGS, she earned the top prize at Michigan Tech’s 3MT competition. The Graduate Student Government sponsors a local 3MT competition each fall. Each university in our region was invited to send one representative to the MAGS annual meeting.

Her presentation was titled, “Capture and Release (CaRe): A novel protein purification technique.” The Graduate School is proud of her accomplishments and how well she represented Michigan Tech!

Priyanka Kadav's slide representing her dissertation.
Priyanka Kadav’s slide for her 3MT presentation describing the protein purification technique she is developing in her dissertation.
Priyanka Kadav (far left) with her 3MT competitors and judges.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2022 Recipient – Chathura Adambarage

I joined the Department of Chemistry at Michigan Technological University (MTU) in Fall/2017 as a graduate student in chemistry. Before joining MTU, I obtained my BSc (Hons) in chemistry from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka and in parallel to that I completed my second BSc in chemistry at the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, Sri Lanka. I had a strong desire to follow a Ph.D. in physical chemistry therefore, I joined Dr. Kathryn Perrine’s surface science research group. The reason why I decided to select surface science to pursue my Ph.D. is, it is an interdisciplinary subject area that connects several disciplines such as chemistry, vacuum technology, physics, and engineering. My Ph.D. research mainly focused on studying the influence of the chemical environment on interfacial corrosion at air/electrolyte/iron interface using surface sensitive infrared spectroscopy. I was able to develop a method to investigate interfacial corrosion and mineral formation at air/liquid/solid interfaces with the guidance of my research advisor. Also, I completed MS in chemistry on the way to my Ph.D. I was fortunate to obtain a lot of experience in vacuum science and technology as a part of my Ph.D. career. Furthermore, I gained knowledge and experience in studying chemical reactions of simple halogenated gas molecules on single crystal metal surfaces under in situ and operando conditions.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Department of Chemistry and the Graduate College of Michigan Technological University for giving me an invaluable opportunity to join the MTU community as a graduate student and for their continuous support for achieving my Ph.D. goals. My special thank goes to my research advisor Dr. Kathryn A. Perrine and also to all the graduate committee members (Dr. Loredana Valenzano, Dr. Rudy Luck, and Dr. Lei Pan) for their invaluable guidance and mentorship extended for me throughout my journey to the Ph.D.

Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Spring 2022 Recipient – Dhananjani Eriyagama

I obtained my BSc degree from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, and I moved to Houghton in 2015 with my husband. I am fortunate to be enrolled in the Chemistry Ph.D. program at Michigan Tech in 2017 spring, and I joined Dr. Fang’s research group. As a student researcher, I learned the skills needed in the laboratory and improved skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, mentoring junior researchers, communication, and leadership. It is a privilege to collaborate with colleagues in our laboratory on many research projects with different disciplines.

One of my research projects is the development of non-chromatographic method for synthetic oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) purification, and another is the automation of polyethylene glycol (PEG) synthesis. Synthetic oligonucleotides have applications in various fields. Even though ODN synthesis has improved significantly in the past decades, the purification of synthetic ODN still has many challenges. The most widely used HPLC purification is expensive and not suitable for large-scale and high throughput purification, and purification of long ODNs. We developed a non-chromatographic ODN purification method suitable for large-scale, high throughput, and long ODN purification. This method does not involve expensive reagents, solvents, or instrumentation, and it can significantly reduce the cost of synthetic ODN purification. Polyethylene glycols (PEGs) have found applications in many fields, including the pharmaceutical industry. Due to the high labor demand of current synthesis and purification methods, it is expensive to obtain monodispersed PEGs. The method that we developed does not require purification of intermediates, and more importantly the entire synthesis is automated. As a result, we can obtain pure PEGs for a significantly lower cost.

I would like to convey my gratitude to The Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for providing the finishing fellowship award at a critical moment in my graduate study. The fellowship is important for me to focus on writing and defending my dissertation, and to graduate timely. I would also like to thank my advisor Dr. Shiyue Fang, and Dr. Marina Tansova for their indispensable guidance throughout the program.

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.

Deadlines:
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

Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship – Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 Recipients

Congratulations to the following students on receiving the Outstanding Scholarship Award!

Amit Acharya – Physics
Gabriel Edzordzi Agbozo – Humanities
Oluwatomisin Shalom Akinbo – College of Business
Jessica Alger – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Alejandra Itzel Almanza Perales – Materials Science and Engineering
Emily Anible – Mathematical Sciences
Austin Arenz – College of Business
Tanner Barnes – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Beth Bartel – Geology and Mining Eng Sciences
Allison Berryman – College of Business
Prateek Sameer Bhalla – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Chaitanya Ganesh Bhat – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Parth Parimalbhai Bhatt – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Troy Bouman – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Jessica Bruning – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Sam Celani – Electrical and Computer Engineering
FNU Chandan Kumar – Geology and Mining Engineering Sciences
Marina Choy – Humanities
Michael Conard – Computer Science
Anthony Custard – College of Business
William Dion – Biological Sciences
Akshay Shankarrao Dongre – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Jon Furlich – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Dylan Gaines – Computer Science
Anindya Ghoshroy – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Qing Guo – Physics
David Hallberg – Electrical and Computer Engineering
John Harron – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Brittany Hubbard – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Saeed Jafari Kang – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Dongzhao Jin – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Shreya Joshi – Physics
Siva Krishna Kakula – Computer Science
Ranit Karmakar – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Joshua Kemppainen – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Pegah Kord Forooshani – Biomedical Engineering
Arianna Laiho – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Weibing Li – Mathematical Sciences
Yanfang Liu – Mathematical Sciences
Evan Lucas – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ali Moazzam – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Andrea Myers – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Samerender Nagam Hanumantharao – Biomedical Engineering
Veena Sathish Namboodri – Humanities
Nicholas Newberry – Chemistry
Yugandhara Yuvraj Patil – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Jessica Pitts – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Veronica Porter – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Ashfiqur Rahman – Electrical and Computer Engineering
Nelmary Rodríguez-Sepúlveda – Geology and Mining Eng Sciences
Kaitlyn Roose – Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Cristhian Paul Salas Pazmiño – Geology and Mining Engineering Sciences
Mujeeb Olushola Shittu – Biological Sciences
Cameron Shock – Physics
Prasad Pramod Soman – Materials Science and Engineering
Steven Stelly – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Kevin Sunderland – Biomedical Engineering
Arman Tatar – Civil and Environmental Engineering
Subin Thomas – Physics
Ariana Tyo – Biomedical Engineering
Matthew Vander Molen – College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science
Isaac Wedig – Kinesiology Integrated Physiology
Zhuo Xu – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Ruiting Zhan – Chemical Engineering
Jiongxun Zhang – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Zhihao Zhao – Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
Xiaodong Zhou – Civil and Environmental Engineering