Eight Named NSF Graduate Research Fellows

NSF Graduate Research Fellows Angela Wagner, Jodie Simkoff, Abby Leistra, Josh Moon, Himmi Nallan Chakravarthula, Alex Prybutok, Pedro de Souza and Jeremy Binagia put their "horns up" in front of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering BuildingEight students from the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering have been named 2016 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellows. The Cockrell School of Engineering has a total of 11 NSF Graduate Research Fellows this year, more than any other college within the university.

NSF chose 2,000 individuals from nearly 17,000 applicants as this year’s recipients of awards from the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP).

“The Graduate Research Fellowship Program is a vital part of our efforts to foster and promote excellence in U.S. science, technology, engineering and mathematics by recognizing talent broadly from across the Nation,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, NSF assistant director for Education and Human Resources. “These awards are provided to individuals who have demonstrated their potential for significant research achievements, and they are investments that will help propel this country’s future innovations and economic growth.”

Awardees represent a diverse group of scientific disciplines and from all states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. commonwealths and territories. The group is diverse, including 1,077 women, 424 individuals from underrepresented minority groups, 62 persons with disabilities, 35 veterans and 627 senior undergraduates.

The new Fellows come from 488 baccalaureate institutions — 104 more institutions than in 2010, when GRFP began awarding 2,000 fellowships each year.

2016 department NSF Graduate Research Fellowship recipients include:

Student Level Research Group
Jeremy Binagia Undergraduate Senior Bonnecaze Group
Pedro de Souza Undergraduate Senior Mullins Group
Alex Prybutok Undergraduate Senior Maynard Group & Borrego Group (ME)
Abby Leistra Graduate Contreras Group
Josh Moon Graduate Freeman Group
Himmi Nallan Chakravarthula Graduate Ekerdt Group
Jodie Simkoff Graduate Baldea Group
Angela Wagner Graduate Peppas Group

“The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship competition is fiercely competitive,” Dr. Thomas Truskett, Texas ChE chairman, said. “It’s gratifying to see our students’ continued success in winning these awards, which reflects both their outstanding preparation and aptitude for exceptional careers in research.”

Four former ChE undergraduate students were also awarded NSF Graduate Fellowships this year: Do Soon Kim, previously of the Alper Group; Meredith Fields, previously of the Mullins Group; Daniel Cornelius Hatchell, previously of the Rochelle Group; and Leon Dean, previously of the Willson Group.

Former NSF Fellows include numerous individuals who have made transformative breakthroughs in science and engineering, have become leaders in their chosen careers, and been honored as Nobel laureates. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents and are selected through the NSF peer review process.

NSF has posted a complete list of those offered this fellowship for 2016, and general information on GRFP is available at the program’s website.

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