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Grand Challenges Scholar, Spring 2024

Khushi Pandey

Khushi Pandey says she chose to pursue a degree in chemical engineering because it is widely used in multiple fields.

“As an engineer, you learn how to solve problems, but chemical engineering requires you to think critically in multiple stages of the existing problem and also how the economics would work,” Pandey says. “In the end, I want to make the world greener and cleaner, and being a chemical engineer helps me do that with its multiple applications.”

Pandey was an active member of the Fulton Ambassadors student group in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University and also worked on an Engineering Projects in Community Service, or EPICS, project to develop smart cooling technologies for low-cost homeless shelters in Arizona. 

She is graduating as a Grand Challenges Scholar with a theme of sustainability through the Fulton Schools Grand Challenges Scholars Program

As a first-year student and as a sophomore, Pandey assisted Amy Trowbridge, co-director of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, with her class.

“I was introduced to so many research professors and alums at ASU, their unique experience and how they succeeded,” Pandey says. “I had the opportunity to move from the small bubble I built around myself as a foreigner in the U.S. to the most confident version of myself.”

Through the National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education, or PIRE, program, Pandey worked on semiconductor research that focused on silicon oxycarbide, or SiOC, fibers at the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany. She also interned at Marketech International Corp USA, or MICU, at the TSMC Arizona Fab 21 semiconductor fabrication plant in Arizona.

Pandey credits Alexandra Navrotsky, a Regents Professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, part of the Fulton Schools, and the School of Molecular Sciences at ASU, with introducing her to the research aspects of chemical engineering.

“Her lab helped me develop new methods of synthesizing SiOC fibers,” Pandey says. “She supported all my decisions and knew exactly when I needed to be corrected in my approach.”

The New American University scholar will look to expand her research with the hope of returning to a position at MICU to continue her studies in pursuit of longer-term goals.

I hope to continue with graduate studies in chemical engineering, obtain my PhD and work on making the semiconductor process more sustainable and efficient,” Pandey says. “I hope to inspire more students to choose to study chemical engineering and utilize their knowledge in various fields.” 

Read about other exceptional graduates of the Fulton Schools’ spring 2024 class here.

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