University of California, Riverside

Center for Environmental Research & Technology



2018-2019 Scholarship Awardees Announced


2018-2019 Scholarship Awardees Announced

July 20, 2018

CE-CERT is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018-2019 scholarship awards. A total of 11 awardees (seven graduate and four undergraduate) were selected after a competitive review process. We are proud to help these outstanding individuals meet the challenge of financing their education and research.

Graduate Award Recipients

Brandon Feenstra "I see myself in a leadership position at an Air Quality Management District with a focus on renovating the current air pollutant monitoring technology and providing timely and meaningful data for the public."

Major:
Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Research Focus: Brandon is currently involved in several research projects addressing applications for low-cost air quality sensors. These projects include measuring dust emissions from the fence-line of a waste transfer facility, looking at particulate matter trends at a community level, and community level monitoring and relating the surface particulate matter measurements to satellite aerosol optical depth (AOD) measurements.

In the future, Brandon would like to research and build meaningful cloud based data platforms for the ingestion and visualization of air quality sensor data with the capability of adding additional data sources to provide insights that may be useful for air quality models and forecasting.
Fei Gu "Materials Science and Engineering is a major with great potential and possibilities. At the beginning, I just wanted to develop something useful for the people. And now, that “something” is the Li-ion Battery."

Major: Materials Science and Engineering

Research Focus: To develop an approach to reduce the processing cost in the Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) synthesis for use in Li-ion batteries. These batteries will achieve voltage self-regulated functionality to internally protect them from damage caused by overcharging, improving their safety.

Fei plans to pursue a Ph.D., and work in the clean energy industry as a principal engineer on the Li-ion Battery and other clean energy technologies. He will focus on improving the quality of synthesized LFP and increasing the lifetime of self-regulated function without significant impact on battery performance.
Weihan Peng "Air pollution is one of the most serious problems in the world, especially in developing countries."

Major: Chemical Engineering

Research Focus:  The effects of NOx on secondary pollutants formed from photo-oxidation of anthropogenic and biogenic emissions including aromatic hydrocarbons, PAH and terpene hydrocarbons.

Weihan’s future goals include developing a better understanding of the mechanism of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation to improve the model predicting ability of SOA, and obtaining a research position in a national laboratory or company.
Priya Sengupta "Being from a developing country, India, I have personally experienced the energy crisis and therefore completely understand the need for sustainable energy resources."

Major: Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Research Focus: Cellulosic ethanol production from hardwood poplar, using a recently developed technology called Co-Solvent Enhanced Lignocellulosic Fractionation (CELF). Priya is also working on the recovery of pure wood lignin for incorporation into high-value products such as plastics.  

Priya’s future plan is to make significant contributions to the field of bioenergy production from lignocellulosic biomass through the continuation of her research. She would like to remain in academia as well, inspiring future STEM students to work on sustainable energy.
Danyang Tian "Being an engineer is something I always dreamed of doing."

Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Focus: The early deployment and effectiveness analysis of various vehicle-to-vehicle applications, and eco-driving development projects. Danyang is also interested in traffic state prediction models, cooperative and safe lane-changing behavior, and traffic scheduling.

Post-graduation, Danyang plans to work in the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) field as an engineer or scientist. Her long-term goal is to get involved in research and development to bring technologies such as advanced driver assistance systems applications to market.
Paul Van Rooy "Air quality research is in high demand, it is challenging, it is interesting, and it is very important to the future of the planet."

Major: Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Research Focus: The oxidation of agricultural emissions (amines and reduced sulfur compounds) and their ability to form secondary aerosols.

In the future, Paul would like to continue his air quality research as well as teach as a faculty member at a university or college.
Wei Wang "My goal is to transform research results into real-world implementations that will make our power grid smarter."

Major: Electrical Engineering

Research Focus: To improve the design of the US energy market to accommodate the rapidly increasing influx of renewable energy with the goal of increasing the efficiency of the power grid and reducing energy costs and carbon emissions.

Wei plans to work as a power systems engineer in industry or as a research scientist after graduation, where he will apply techniques such as machine learning to improving control of the power grid.

Undergraduate Award Recipients

Danial Esaid "I chose Engineering because I love to build things. I haven’t encountered any other discipline that forces you to think like Computer Engineering."

Major: Computer Engineering

Research Focus: Danial is currently developing an algorithm that gives the path of lowest emissions for vehicles given a starting point and an ending point.

Danial’s short term goal is to see his algorithm work on a real vehicle. In the long term, his focus is on making a positive impact on the environment.
 
Samantha Hanson "My passion for the environment came to light in junior high when a guest speaker, an environmental engineer, introduced me to water saving faucets and shower heads, fluorescent light bulbs, and the concept of climate change. In that moment, I knew what I wanted to do with my life."

Major: Environmental Engineering

Research Focus: Air pollutants that are relative to the contribution of climate change on a large scale, including those that are emitted from the breath of both humans and farm animals.

Samantha plans to complete her undergraduate degree in environmental engineering, and pursue a graduate degree in civil engineering or environmental design. She would like to work for a green engineering company, designing infrastructure such as houses and commercial buildings with low environmental impact.
Michelle Le "I chose mechanical engineering because I have always loved math and science as a kid and I knew that I definitely wanted to pursue a STEM career. I also chose mechanical engineering because my father loves working on cars and he would have pursued the same career path if he could. I am taking advantage of the opportunity to do something that my father and I both love, that he never had the chance to do."

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Research Focus: Michelle is currently a research assistant for the Emissions and Fuels research group at CE-CERT. Her focus is on vehicle testing and data analysis.

Michelle will complete her undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering with a focus on energy and the environment at UC Riverside. She also plans to take the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam to become a certified Engineer in Training, and will contine her research activities at CE-CERT.
Alexander Yu "I see myself working in the automotive industry to develop and enhance transport systems in the next five years. I believe I can make a positive change."

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Research Focus: Alexander is currently performing data analysis and Portable Emissions Measurement Systems testing on behalf of AQMD.

Alexander plans to complete both his undergraduate and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering at UC Riverside. He would like to collaborate with CE-CERT to perform data logging on behalf of the Port of Los Angeles, with the eventual goal of doing work with CAN data in the automotive field and in industry.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Center Information

Center for Environmental Research & Technology
1084 Columbia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92507
Directions to CERT

Tel: (951) 781-5791
Fax: (951) 781-5790
E-mail: certinfo@cert.ucr.edu

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