Graduate Engineering Student Receives Kokes Award for Her Research

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Nusnin Akter, a PhD student in the Department of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, won the Richard J. Kokes Award sponsored by the North American Catalysis Society and administered by the North American Meetings (NAM) organization. The competitive Kokes Award encourages students to attend and participate in the biennial NAM conference, at which Akter will present her work in Denver, Colorado, this June.

Graduate Engineering Student Receives Kokes Award for Her Research

Left to Right: SBU Professor Taejin Kim; doctoral students Shuhao Zhang and Nusnin Akter; Islip High School science teacher Nicole Scott-Edwards and students Shweta Karmakar, Delaney Hardekopf, Meg Rumplick, Lauren Cottral and Victoria Arthus. Nusnin mentors high school students through SBU’s WISE program.

Nusnin Akter, mentored by Assistant Professor Taejin Kim from Stony Brook and Jorge Anibal Boscoboinik from Brookhaven National Lab, has been investigating heterogeneous catalysts to understand the relationship between molecular/electronic catalyst structure and catalytic activity for the nitric oxide reduction reaction. Her research involves several tasks, such as catalyst synthesis, activity testing and surface reaction measurement using different spectroscopic techniques.

“Nusnin not only focuses on her graduate studies, but she also to teaches and volunteers in the community through the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program, hoping to bring gender equality to the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce,” said Professor Kim.

“It is my great honor to be a recipient of the Kokes Award, which will allow me to present my work ‘NO Reduction and Oxidation over Co/CeO2 Catalysts’ at the NAM meeting,” said Akter. “Through my research, I believe I can illuminate the molecular structures and activity of novel catalysts and their potential application to clean the toxic gas emission from the diesel engine in creating a cleaner environment for the future. By presenting my work, I will also have the opportunity to meet academic and industry experts who are interested in innovation in chemical engineering and material sciences. This Kokes Award will accelerate my progress and help me to concentrate on my passion for outreach and research.”

Last year, Akter was recognized for several poster presentations: first place poster award at “Girl Power in STEM: Step It Up,” second place at the 2016 Spring Symposium of The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York, and first place poster award for her research at the fifth annual Brookhaven National Lab Early Career Researcher Symposium.

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