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MEM Senior Named to Graduate Research Fellowship

PHILADELPHIA, April 23, 2013

Arvind KalidindiArvind Kalidindi has a lot to smile about. The senior Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics student is one of three Drexel engineering students awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. Kalidindi received a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees towards his PhD.

Kalidindi has known he wanted to earn a PhD since high school. In a way, he was always going down that path. For him, it’s another step in a journey toward becoming a college professor--something he’s familiar with. His father, Surya Kalidindi is a former Drexel professor and is now teaching at Georgia Tech.

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program is the oldest program of its kind and has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. It offers graduate students opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. graduate program. 

“Being at Drexel has given me the unique opportunity to spend an entire co-op doing research, develop my own accelerated degree program to graduate in just three years, and work with very talented engineering students. It’s truly an amazing honor to win and it only motivates me to continue to work hard and improve myself as a student and a researcher,” Kalidindi said.

Kalidindi is among impressive company. Past Graduate Research Fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners; U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu; Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.

As part of his preparation, Kalidindi conducted research as a high school student with Wei Sun, a professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics as well as Yury Gogotsi, a professor in the Materials Science and Engineering department. Kalidindi has also been involved with the Lindy Scholars Program and SeaPerch.

Kalidindi is currently a researcher in the Electrochemical Energy Systems Laboratory, where he focuses on improving next-generation energy technologies that aim to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and better utilize abundant natural resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal energy. His research is supervised by Caglan Kumbur, an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics. Kalidindi has worked in Kumbur’s, PhD, research group since his freshman year, and credits his lab mates and advisor for helping him win his fellowship.

He will complete his undergraduate degree in three years and will graduate in June

He plans to begin working toward a PhD in materials science and engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall where he will likely shift his focus from energy research towards understanding the processing-structure-property relationships in structural materials.