Leading-Edge Research and Development > Research Profiles > Profiles Archive > CNSE Student and Next-Generation Leader wins UAlbany President's Award
CNSE Student and Next-Generation Leader wins UAlbany President's Award
To Bharat Avasarala, a doctoral candidate in nanoscale engineering at CNSE, a top-notch education entails more than pioneering coursework and cutting-edge research - for him, it is just as important to hone his leadership skills.
A native of India, where he earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering, the lure of a world-class education and leading-edge research facilities drew Bharat to the UAlbany NanoCollege. He first entered into CNSE's M.S.
Bharat and fellow CNSE students attend
a NanoGSO meeting to discuss upcoming
program, and later joined the innovative Nano+MBA program, a cooperative effort between CNSE and the School of Business at UAlbany. Through this program, Bharat earned an M.S. in nanoscale engineering, while at the same time earning his M.B.A. degree, in May 2009.
Bharat was recently honored with the UAlbany President's Award for Leadership, which rewards students who have made significant contributions to enhance the quality of life at the University at Albany. His worthiness for this prestigious award recognizing extraordinary leadership, service, academic achievement, and involvement within the University community was demonstrated through his contribution to the Nano Graduate Student Organization (NanoGSO), which Bharat and his fellow students started in 2006.
"It is important for CNSE students to create an awareness of nanotechnology in the community," said Bharat. "Students at CNSE not only want to benefit from the world-class education and research at the college, but they also want to contribute to it."
His contributions include promoting, sponsoring, organizing and funding events related to nanotechnology. One such event was the Women in Technology and Science (WiTS) program held in April, which brought together an esteemed panel to discuss the challenges facing women in science and technology, and to highlight the presence and promote the advancement of women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Events such as these are designed to inform graduate students and the community of pertinent issues related to academics, research, internships, employment opportunities and social activities.
|CNSE student Bharat |
During his time at CNSE, Bharat has also taken on a leadership role through his research, which involves the ever-growing field of clean and renewable energy technologies. His work at CNSE has focused specifically on fuel cells, and applying nanotechnology to alternative energy sources to minimize the world's dependence on fossil fuels. His research concentrates on the degradation in fuel cells, which is one of the largest impediments to large-scale fuel cell commercialization. To decrease degradation, Bharat and his fellow researchers are looking at alternative materials for electrocatalysts.
"Bharat has shown strong leadership potential as a student and is actively engaged in a variety of efforts, including several events with the NanoGSO and the New Energy Symposium," said Dr. Pradeep Haldar, Head of CNSE's Nanoengineering Constellation, Director of CNSE's Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC), and Bharat's adviser. "His leadership skills are evident through his additional course load to simultaneously complete his M.S. and M.B.A, his understanding of the benefit of team work, and his willingness to help."
Currently, Bharat is finishing up his Ph.D. in nanoscale engineering, with hopes of graduating in the spring of 2010. When asked what he sees in his future, Bharat responds, "I am interested in using my knowledge to invest in the alternative energy sector. I see myself in a venture capital or entrepreneurial role." Spoken like a true leader.