Five UCLA Engineering Students Receive 2020 NSF Graduate Fellowships

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

Five UCLA Samueli engineering students — two graduate and three undergraduate students pursuing an advanced degree — have received the prestigious 2020 Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. The recipients are John Brewer, Richa Ghosh, Jamie Leonard, William Schmidt and Alexander Soohoo. The three-year fellowship program commends “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.” Recipients receive an annual stipend of $34,000 along with $12,000 designated for tuition and fees.

Please join us in congratulating this year’s recipients:

John Brewer
Graduate degree program: Materials Science and Engineering
Research interests: Nanophotonics, photonic metamaterials, infrared and other non-visible wavelength photonic systems design and engineering.
Faculty Advisor: Aaswath Raman
Undergraduate Institution: University of Arizona
Richa Ghosh
Undergraduate major: Chemical Engineering
Research interests: Catalysis, specifically using approaches in material synthesis, characterization, and kinetic and mechanistic studies for sustainable energy and fuel production
Undergraduate Faculty Advisors: Dante Simonetti and Carlos Morales-Guio
Future Graduate Program: Ph.D. program in chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jamie Leonard
Undergraduate major: Environmental Science (Concentration: Environmental Health), Minor: Environmental Engineering
Research interests: Analyzing aeolian transport of microplastics (physics & health basis)
Undergraduate Faculty Advisor: Sanjay Mohanty
Future Graduate Program: Ph.D. program in water resources and environmental engineering at UCLA
William Schmidt
Graduate degree program: Bioengineering
Research interests: Bacterial surface sensing and biofilm formation, immune signaling, self-assembly of DNA complexes, DNA origami.
Faculty Advisor: Gerard Wong
Undergraduate Institution: California Institute of Technology
Alexander Soohoo
Undergraduate Major: Chemical Engineering
Research Interests: Currently studying fungal natural product biosynthesis, hoping to study protein engineering or metabolic engineering in graduate school
Undergraduate Faculty Advisor: Yi Tang
Future Graduate Program: Stanford University in chemical engineering

Two UCLA engineering alumni also received NSF graduate fellowships for 2020: Ethan Liang, now at Stanford University, and Kyle Liang, at Carnegie Mellon University.

This story is contributed by Zoe Curran