Nusnin Akter, a Materials Science and Chemical Engineering graduate student, won the first place poster award for her research, “2D-Zeolite for the Argon Trap,” at the fifth annual Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) Early Career Researcher Symposium, presented by the Association of Students and Postdocs at BNL on December 13. This symposium is a showcase of the pioneering research that is performed by graduate students and postdocs at BNL. Akter is mentored by Stony Brook University Professor Taejin Kim and Brookhaven National Lab’s Jorge Anibal Boscoboinik,
“One of the things I dreamed of as I planned for my graduate studies was to study at a university with a wide range of fields for research,”said Akter. “Luckily, Stony Brook gave me the opportunity to pursue my doctoral degree. SBU opened a path that I could never have imagined. Here I have access to incredible opportunities, including conducting research at the Center for Functional Nanomaterials at BNL with my mentors.”
Akter’s research involves developing nitrogen oxide-reducing catalysts for diesel engine exhausts. This is important because it will help the more energy-efficient diesel engines to meet emission standards set by Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Earlier of this year, Akter was recognized for two poster presentations at the “Girl Power in STEM: Step It Up” and 2016 Spring Symposium of “The Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York.”
“For me, it means a lot because presenting my work is not only to deliver my findings to others, but also to represent the strong collaboration between SBU and BNL,”said Akter. “This collaboration gives me the opportunity to work with the highly regarded scientists at SBU and BNL to find a way to make diesel engine emissions cleaner. It is my hope that one day this research will make the air we breathe healthier. I’m inspired by my both mentors’ generosity and guidance, and it makes me want to follow their examples.”
Akter has been teaching in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field for high school students and freshman SBU students to encourage them to consider a career in the laboratory. She wants to help bring gender equality to the STEM workforce.
“In STEM fields, the participation of women engineers and scientists has been growing, and this is very important. As a young woman scientist, Nusnin Akter is a good example of this trend,” said Kim.