Avinava Roy and Yu-Chen Yang receive Rackham International Student Fellowships

Avinava Roy and Yu-Chen Yang were selected for their outstanding academic success and promising research.
Avinava Roy and Yu-Chen Yang receive Rackham International Student Fellowships

Avinava Roy (Loebel group) and Yu-Chen Yang

MSE is pleased to announce that Avinava Roy (Loebel group) is a recipient of a Rackham International Student Fellowship and Yu-Chen Yang (Goldman group) has received a Chia-Lun Lo Fellowship, given to international students who have earned a degree from a university in Taiwan.

The Rackham International Student Fellowships assist outstanding international students, particularly those who may be ineligible for other kinds of support because of citizenship. 

Avinava, who came to U-M in 2021 after earning a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology, said he was "pleasantly surprised" by winning the fellowship, adding, "As it began to sink deep, I felt strengthened by the fact that Rackham identifies my progress in graduate school to be highly promising. It encourages me to be more ambitious and even exceed these expectations!"

According to Avinava, the overarching goal of his research is to recreate tissue patterns in vitro (by leveraging material properties) and studying their role in human disease. "In this regard," he explained, "I have established a new technique in the Loebel lab based on hydrogel instabilities, allowing the formation of various folding patterns and cell culture in three dimensions. With this, I have successfully developed a hydrogel-based platform capable of reproducing the dynamic structure of the upper airways. In the future, this technique will be critical to assess how airway epithelial cells feel and respond to changes in topography such as upon tissue injury or chronic diseases."

"Avinava has been extremely helpful in setting up my lab as new faculty and he is one of the most hard-working and passionate graduate students I have worked with," remarked Loebel. "He very much deserves this recognition, and I am excited to witness his career as a Ph.D. student in MSE."

Yu-Chen, who also matriculated to U-M in 2021, holds a B.S. from Taiwan's National Tsing Hua University. Her research emphasizes strategies for tailoring near to far infrared optoelectronic devices by varying the morphology of quantum dots (QDs). "For example, I am examining the influence of QD morphology on the performance of intermediate band solar cells with various sub-monolayer and Stanski-Krastanov QDs," Yu-Chen explained. "Using nanostructure sizes and local indium compositions from local-electrode atom-probe (LEAP) tomography as input into self-consistent Schrödinger–Poisson simulations (Nextnano), my work provides new insight into solar cell performance characteristics."

"I was thrilled to learn that Yu-Chen had received the Rackham International Student Fellowship," commented Goldman. "She is following in the footsteps of Goldman Group student mentors who have also received this Fellowship, including Yu-Chen (Abby) Liu in 2021 and Tao-Yu (Eric) Huang in 2020. Yu-Chen’s research to date has already been included in a paper submitted for publication.  In addition, she has been an active participant in the educational missions of our department, serving as a Writing Fellow for MSE 250 in Winter 2021."

Congratulations to both Avinava and Yu-Chen!