An engineering PhD student has received the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and two engineering alumni received Honorable Mentions. NSF GRFP recipients receive a three-year annual stipend as well as a cost of education allowance for tuition and fees and access to opportunities for professional development.
2022 NSF Graduate Research Fellow
Nicholas Sica, BS computer engineering ’21, is currently a PhD student focusing on electrical engineering under the mentorship of Baris Taskin, PhD, professor of electrical and computer engineering. During his time as an undergraduate, he worked at G3 and Arris as a general intern and at Susquehanna International Group as part of the FPGA team. He also participated in undergraduate research in the VLSI and Architecture Lab (VANDAL) under Professor Taskin and the Distributed, Intelligent, and Scalable Computing Lab under Anup Das, PhD. During graduate school, he has continued his work in the VLSI and Architecture Lab.
2022 NSF GRFP Honorable Mentions
Abhishek (Abhi) Adhikari, BS computer engineering '21, is a first-year Ph.D. student in electrical engineering at Columbia University's Wireless and Mobile Networking Lab. His research focuses on mmWave communication and sensing for Beyond-5G wireless networks. He cut his teeth on wireless engineering while working as an undergraduate with Kapil Dandekar, PhD, E. Warren Colehower Chair Professor of electrical and computer engineering, in the Drexel Wireless Systems Lab.
Talaial Alina, BS chemical engineering '20, first began his research experience in STAR investigating the production of hydrogen peroxide in various media and plasma regimes under the guidance of Dr. Abraham Lin and Dr. Vandana Miller at the C. & J. Nyheim Plasma Institute. His interest in research eventually led him to co-op at Janssen Pharmaceuticals where he explored novel protein purification devices and techniques for new antibodies in development. This experience led him to pursue an interdisciplinary Senior Thesis with Dr. Kara Spiller in the School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems where he explored the novel application of biotin and avidin binding to crosslink gelatin hydrogels. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He hopes to familiarize himself with biomaterials that focus on drug delivery so that he can one day work in tissue engineering startups.
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master's and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching.
NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. These individuals are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation's technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.
A longer version of this story was originally published on the Pennoni Honors College website.