Graduate Student Meghali Chopra Receives Jeff Byers Memorial Award for Academic Excellence

Meghali Chopra stands infront of the Chemical & Petroleum Enginering Building at UT AustinGraduate student Meghali Chopra recently received the 2013 Jeff Byers Memorial Graduate Award in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering awarded by the Cockrell School of Engineering.

The award recognizes a graduate student in chemistry or chemical engineering who exhibits academic excellence, integrity, a collaborative spirit, compassion towards others, and who passionately contributes to the advancement of peers and to the disciplines of science and engineering. Chopra was selected for the $2,000 prize by a committee from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering.

“Meghali’s efforts to make a lasting impact on her community, and the way in which she engages her peers and fosters intellectual collaboration and teamwork, is truly inspirational,” said Jennifer Wang, an environmental and water resources engineering Ph.D. candidate who nominated Chopra.

Chopra recently helped design a nanomanufacturing course for underserved high school students, teaching the basic fundamentals, challenges, and applications of nanomanufacturing. At the end of the course, high school students gain graduate level research experience by performing a research project with an engineering Ph.D. student from UT Austin. She also started a weekly journal club with her peers to learn more about each other’s work and practice scholastic presentation.

After completing a B.S. in chemical engineering at Stanford University in 2011, Chopra co-founded the company VI Energy, Inc. to make batteries three times less expensive and 1.5 times more energy-dense. She began graduate work at UT Austin’s new NASCENT (Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies) center in fall 2012 to pursue her interest in developing scale-up technologies.

Currently, she is the NSF (National Science Foundation) site visit coordinator for NASCENT and holds an officer position for the NASCENT Student Leadership Committee.

The Jeff Byers Graduate Award was established in 2009 in memory of Jeffrey D. Byers, Ph.D. Chemistry ‘92.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted on: