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### Student Researchers Addressing Practical Problems

Developing sustainable solar energy solutions, utilizing fungi to rehabilitate soils impacted by wildfires, democratizing space education, and leveraging machine learning for semiconductor material discovery are some of the innovative initiatives led by students at Arizona State University. These students are actively engaged in hands-on research to tackle real-world problems.

At ASU, both undergraduate and graduate students have the opportunity to engage in use-inspired research projects, enabling them to apply theoretical knowledge from their classrooms and cultivate new skills. Mentored by faculty members from the Fulton Schools, students delve into diverse fields such as data science, education, energy, health, security, semiconductor manufacturing, and sustainability.

The Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI) and the Master’s Opportunity for Research in Engineering (MORE) programs offer valuable experiences for students to conceptualize ideas, develop research plans, and explore their inquiries over a semester. Additionally, students enrolled in the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) can seek additional funding to support their research endeavors. Participation in research activities is a fundamental component of a GCSP student’s comprehensive competency requirements aimed at preparing them to address intricate global challenges effectively.

These programs play a pivotal role in enhancing students’ capacity for innovation, independent thinking, and problem-solving within their communities. Apart from gaining technical expertise, students also acquire soft skills that are essential for their future careers and academic pursuits.

Each semester, participants in FURI, MORE, and the GCSP research stipend program showcase their findings at a poster session, marking the culmination of their dedicated efforts in forging impactful research paths and establishing valuable connections.

The upcoming Spring 2024 Fulton Forge Student Research Expo will feature Clara Chaves Azevedo, Henry Nakaana, Ritwik Sharma, Aishwarya Katkar, and over 100 other student investigators. This event, scheduled for Friday, April 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Student Pavilion on the ASU Tempe campus, is open to the public.

Clara Chaves Azevedo

Clara Chaves Azevedo, a major in civil engineering, is conducting research to mitigate the toxicity of promising perovskite materials for implementing solar energy generation on windows. Collaborating with a faculty mentor, Clara aims to substitute lead with tin in solar panels to offer a less harmful alternative, thus making solar energy more sustainable and accessible to society.

Henry Nakaana

Henry Nakaana, a first-year civil engineering student, is exploring the engineered growth of fungi to aid areas impacted by wildfires. By enhancing soil stability and erosion resistance post-wildfires, Henry’s project not only provides a cost-effective solution but also contributes to carbon sequestration, thereby combatting global climate change.

Ritwik Sharma

Ritwik Sharma, a sophomore in aerospace engineering, is developing a guidance system for CHART, a radio wave-based tool for observing celestial features. By simplifying the system’s usability, Ritwik aims to enhance space education for K–12 students, offering a practical understanding of astronomy principles and coordinate systems.

Aishwarya Katkar

Aishwarya Katkar, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, is leveraging machine learning to expedite material analysis for semiconductor device components. By automating the identification of materials with specific properties, Aishwarya’s research aims to enhance the efficiency and quality of materials used in semiconductor manufacturing, ultimately streamlining the production process.

These student researchers exemplify ASU’s commitment to fostering innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and sustainable solutions to address pressing global challenges.