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Outstanding Graduate, Spring 2024

Vishnu Kotta

With interests in chemistry, physics and mathematics, Vishnu Kotta initially chose chemical engineering as a major when he began his college studies. But a growing passion for tackling environmental challenges soon led to a switch to environmental engineering.

In that major, Kotta says he found a broad panorama of potential professional pursuits to motivate him.

All the variety he discovered in his environmental engineering studies surprised him, he says, and he became drawn to the field by the variety of opportunities it offers to play leading roles in addressing many of society’s critical needs.

Seeing the extent of its applications in academia, industry, public health and safety, technological advancement and natural resources development and management, Kotta saw environmental engineering as a gateway to a meaningful career.

“A degree in this field can set you up for success even if you chose to go into legal and medical professions,” he says.

Kotta found his major provided him diverse and fulfilling experiences even as a student.

He worked for more than two years in a faculty member’s microbiological water quality research work and for two years was a member of the Fulton Schools student chapter of the Society of Water and Environmental Leaders, serving a year as its president.

He coauthored a published research paper on a project assessing the varying capabilities of water management intervention strategies — a rigorous field study for which data collection took a year and a half.  The project became the subject of his honors student thesis and led to him to take the lead on a subsequent research project om the topic.

Through those endeavors, Kotta says he experienced a feeling of accomplishment in confronting complex and difficult questions, and in seeing tangible progress results from the work.

He now aspires to earn a master’s degree in engineering and explore a career in research and development in water-related fields and eventually get involved in the policy making aspects of involved in water sector.

“I would love to do work that influences the Environmental Protection Agency’s future water regulations decisions,” Kotta says.

Kotta especially appreciates the emphasis the Fulton Schools puts on striving for innovation in engineering.

“I plan to take the Fulton Schools approach to interdisciplinary thinking with me in my career, because I feel all engineers have so much to learn from each other and from those in other disciplines to make themselves better engineers,” he says.

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

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