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Five grad students awarded Ohio State Presidential Fellowships

Several Buckeye engineers have earned the highest honor given by The Ohio State University Graduate School—a Presidential Fellowship.

Five graduate students stand together inside Scott Laboratory2019-2020 Presidential Fellows (L to R): Shahadat Sohel, Juliana Laszakovits, Molly Baumann, Wen Cai and Nikhita Vedula.This award honors the outstanding scholarly accomplishments and potential of graduate students entering the final phase of their dissertation research or terminal degree project.

The College of Engineering’s 2019-2020 Presidential Fellows are Molly Baumann, Wen Cai, Juliana Laszakovits, Shahadat Sohel and Nikhita Vedula.

Molly Baumann is a fifth-year biomedical engineering doctoral student whose research has potentially profound clinical translation in the burns and wound-healing research community. Advised by Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor Heather Powell, Baumann’s work centers on scar prevention therapies. Her thesis focuses on developing a tightly controlled, reproducible pre-clinical burn scar model and subsequently using this model to evaluate the efficacy of ablative laser therapy.

Wen Cai is a mechanical engineering PhD candidate whose research focuses on developing nonlinear energy harvesters in complex vibration environments for robust direct current power delivery. Her research will create a bridge between multiple technical disciplines that is necessary to fulfill the vision of a sustainable internet-of-things through the practice of vibration energy harvesting. Cai’s advisor is Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Ryan L. Harne.

Juliana Laszakovits is a third-year PhD student specializing in the area of environmental engineering. Advised by Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering Chair and Professor Allison Mackay, Laszakovits is designing and implementing experiments to determine how present chemical treatment of drinking water can be improved to reduce carcinogenic by-products. By identifying the chemical processes, targeted and more cost-effective treatments can eventually be developed.

Shahadat Sohel is a PhD candidate in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), advised by ECE Professor Siddharth Rajan. His area of research involves solid-state semiconductor devices. Sohel’s thesis focuses on implementing novel channel engineering techniques to demonstrate highly linear power amplifiers, which are essential for high frequency next generation communication systems such as 5G telecommunication and internet-of-things.

Nikhita Vedula is a computer science and engineering doctoral student whose research explores data mining and natural language processing. Her work spans machine learning and computational linguistics, aiming to understand how latent context manifests in linguistic patterns and language arising from diverse applications such as emergency response, digital health and computational advertising. Vedula’s advisor is Computer Science and Engineering Professor Srinivasan Parthasarathy.

Awarded competitively, Presidential Fellowships provide one year of full-time financial support so students can complete their dissertations or terminal degree projects unimpeded by other duties. Competitions are held during autumn and spring semesters.

by Meggie Biss, College of Engineering Communications |