Four Indian-origin graduates among eight named for 2023 Chevron Graduate Energy Fellows at University of Houston

Eight University of Houston graduate students were selected as 2023-24 UH Chevron Graduate Energy Fellows (L to R): Kripa Adhikari, Aparajita Datta, Chirag Goel, Meghana Idamakanti (top row), Erin Picton, Mohamad Sarhan, Swapnil Sharma, and Larkin Spires (bottom row). (Photo:Courtesy University of Houston)

HOUSTON (TIP): Four Indian-origin students at the University of Houston have been named among eight who received the inaugural 2023 Chevron Graduate Energy Fellowship for actively being involved in innovative energy-related research. Funded by Chevron, the program supports graduate students’ research efforts through a one-year USD 12,000 fellowship which includes mentoring by faculty experts and the opportunity to engage with subject matter experts at Chevron, according to a press release.
Chevron is an American multinational energy corporation predominantly in oil and gas. The UH-Chevron Energy Graduate Fellows have showcased a broad range of energy-related research at the University of Houston (UH) and their work focuses on scalable innovations for transformational impact on the energy industry, it said.
“The motivation for my research focus came from my past work evaluating the impact of state climate policies on household energy burden across socioeconomic groups,” said Aparajita Datta, one of the fellows and a political science PhD candidate whose research focuses on the intersection of energy, climate and redistributive policies in the US.
Another fellow, Chirag Goel’s research proposal stems from his passion for nuclear fusion reactions that power the sun and stars and has been driven to replicate a similar process on Earth.
“High-temperature superconductors (HTS) present the opportunity to achieve carbon-free economies by 2050,” Goel said.
The potential impact of this research extends to renewable energy generation, electric power transmission and advanced scientific applications, all of which contribute to a sustainable clean energy future.
Meghana Idamakanti, a third-year PhD student hopes to contribute to sustainable energy initiatives, focusing on the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
Swapnil Sharma, a PhD student and an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi graduate co-founded CovRelief to track the availability of hospital beds that helped many people during the COVID-19 pandemic in India. Creating a positive social impact through his work has been a core motivator for Sharma.
“We love that Chevron is sponsoring this group of fellows because it’s a fantastic way for us to get involved with the students who are working on some of the biggest problems we’ll face in society,” Chevron Technology Ventures President Jim Gable was quoted as saying.
“The UH-Chevron Energy Fellowship program is an exciting opportunity for our graduate students to research the many critical areas that impact the energy industry, our communities and our global competitiveness,” said Vice President for Energy and Innovation Ramanan Krishnamoorti.
“Today’s students not only recognize the importance of energy, but they are actively driving the push for affordable, reliable, sustainable and secure energy and making choices that clearly indicate that they are meaningfully contributing to the change,” Krishnamoorti said.
Others who received the Fellowship include Kripa Adhikari, Erin Picton, Mohamad Sarhan, and Larkin Spires.
The selected fellows will engage with Chevron subject matter experts on a quarterly basis and participate in educational and research engagements organized by UH Energy throughout the year.
They will submit quarterly progress reports and may have opportunities to contribute to energy-related blogs and thought leadership pieces, the release said.

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