2022-2023 Novelis Scholars

Novelis Scholars 2022-2023

Top row, left-to-right: Bettina Arkhurst, Conlain Kelly, Juanita Hidalgo, Walter Parker, Sushree Jagriti Sahoo, Alexandra (Lexie) Schueller 
Btm row, left-to-right: Sakshi Sharma, Daniel Johnson, Suemin Lee, Brandon Perry, Sarang Pujari 

Novelis Scholars - Graduate

Bettina Arkhurst: Bettina Arkhurst is a Ph.D. candidate in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech and an energy equity intern in the Accelerated Deployment and Decision Support Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). She holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech. Bettina strives to create tools and frameworks for mechanical engineers to apply as they design energy technologies for all communities. Her dissertation research seeks to understand how concepts of energy justice can be applied to renewable energy technology design to better consider marginalized and vulnerable populations. Additionally, Bettina is passionate about education, accessibility, and inclusion, and has collaborated with colleagues on NREL’s University Partnerships team to create the NREL Student Training in Applied Research (STAR) internship program. She also serves as the technical lead for a research project at NREL dedicated to integrating energy justice in early-stage research. As an undergraduate, Bettina found her passion for community-building and promoting mental health. She is a leader in the mechanical engineering department’s graduate student mental health committee, which seeks to improve the culture around mental health among graduate students in the department. Bettina is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Alfred P. Sloan Scholar, and Georgia Tech Brook Byers Institute for Sustainable Systems Graduate Fellow.

Conlain Kelly: Conlain completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin — Madison, pursuing a double major in Applied Math, Engineering, & Physics and Computer Science. As an undergraduate he performed research in parallel and accelerated computing, focused on solving many-body granular mechanics problems using graphics processing units. During this time he was awarded a Hilldale Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and later an Astronaut Scholarship, in recognition of his academic and research achievements. Conlain also received a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, which supported him for his first three years of graduate studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he is currently pursuing his PhD in Computational Science and Engineering. His doctoral research is directed towards the development of hybrid physics-centric data-driven models for solid mechanics. Specifically, he is interested in mapping the Lippmann-Schwinger form of continuum mechanics onto an iterative learning model to predict local solution fields over heterogeneous microstructures. Ultimately, his work seeks to bridge the conceptually isolated fields of data-driven modeling and statistical continuum mechanics, as well as create more robust, interpretable, and flexible learning models for materials design. Outside of the lab, Conlain enjoys cooking, hiking, and biking, as well as performing and listening to music.

Juanita Hidalgo: Juanita is a Chemical Engineer from Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her undergraduate research focused on optimizing the deposition conditions and fabrication of lead halide perovskite solar cells. She continued to investigate lead halide perovskites in graduate school, starting her PhD at Georgia Tech in January 2019. She joined the group of Juan-Pablo Correa-Baena, the Energy Materials Lab. Motivated by developing energy materials for solar energy conversion, she focused on understanding the structure-property relationships of lead halide perovskites by synchrotron-based in-situ and ex-situ X-ray scattering techniques. She has learned how synchrotron-based techniques can aid in understanding materials at the micro, nano, and atomic scales. She has aimed to gain fundamental insights for the rational and optimal design of materials. Juanita is currently a GAANN fellow. In 2021, she was awarded a GEM fellowship and a DAAD research grant for a one-year research stay in Germany.

Walter Parker: Walter received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Davis in 2018 and his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in 2020. At CMU, Walter worked in The Malen Laboratory where he designed and modeled a dynamic insulation that leverages the external environment to reach desired temperatures.  In summer 2021, Walter was a GEM Fellow at the National Renewable Energy Lab, where he developed thermal models for building applications. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech, with a research focus on thermally driven desalination systems for clean water production. Walter’s hobbies include cooking and dancing (Salsa and Bachata).

Sushree Jagriti Sahoo: Sushree Jagriti Sahoo is a fourth year PhD student in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She is originally from India and holds a bachelor’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Her current research interests lie at the intersection of computational chemistry and machine learning. She focuses on using machine learning inspired methods for development of exchange correlation functionals in Density Functional Theory (DFT). The goal of her research is to use insights from electronic structure and improve approximation of energetics for solid-gas interfaces. Apart from research, she is also involved in teaching, mentoring and DEI initiatives on campus. She was the teaching assistant for “Big data and Quantum Mechanics” VIP course offered by the ChBE department where she mentored undergraduate and graduate students coming from different backgrounds in learning the fundamentals of DFT and pursue research projects. She was a DEI fellow in the ADVANCE program and was a tutor in the GT-EQUAL program. In her spare time, Jagriti enjoys reading, dancing, and exploring different cultures by traveling.

Alexandra (Lexie) Schueller: Alexandra Schueller is currently a 4th-year Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech, working under Dr. Christopher Saldaña. She previously received a B.S. in 2019 from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.S. in 2021 from Georgia Tech, both of which were in Mechanical Engineering. Her research interests include investigations at the intersection of machine learning, process monitoring, and advanced manufacturing systems. Her master’s thesis focused on the development and augmentation of ensemble machine learning models to improve tool condition monitoring systems and the efficiency of industrial machining processes using sound, power, and force signals. Her dissertation research focuses on the smart monitoring and control of metal wire arc additive manufacturing processes through processing infrared images in real time, with the aim of improving part dimensional accuracy, decreasing manufacturing time, and reducing scrappage. Her work has been published in The Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering and The Journal of Manufacturing Processes.

Sakshi Sharma: Sakshi Sharma is a second year Master’s student in the School of Materials Science and Engineering. As part of the Energy Materials Lab, her research is focused on understanding the effect of bulky organic cations on optoelectronic properties and structural integrity of lead halide perovskite thin films through interface engineering in solar cells. Sakshi comes from New Delhi, India where she received her Bachelor of Technology in Engineering Physics from Delhi Technological University in 2020, working on fabrication and electronic characterization of transition metal dichalcogenide thin films. As a co-op at Novelis in Fall 22, Sakshi developed the experimental methodology for Gleeble thermomechanical compression testing of very low final gauge 3104 Aluminum alloy to study its texture evolution for beverage can applications.
She is an active member of the Society of Women Engineers, where she has volunteered as a mentor to facilitate STEM outreach activities at Kennesaw State University and at the SWE’22 Conference for Women in Engineering and Technology. In her spare time, she likes to read English and Russian literature, hike and watch soccer. 

Novelis Scholars - Undergraduate

Daniel Johnson: Daniel Johnson is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Georgia Institute of Technology pursuing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.  Daniel has been working with the Enhanced Preparation for Intelligent Cybermanufacturing Systems (EPICS) research group under Dr. Christopher Saldana since fall 2021, working on multiple projects related to advanced additive manufacturing (AM) systems such as metal 3D printing.  His work focuses on using multi-dimensional image processing techniques integrated with machine learning algorithms to automate the detection and visualization of laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) additive manufacturing components.  Using computed tomography (CT) devices, he has conducted inspections of complex AM geometries with the ultimate goal of combining quantitative CT data with mechanical testing data for the establishment of quality metrics.  More recently, Daniel has also worked with wire arc additive manufacturing (WAAM) technology, a similar process to welding.  He has conducted hardness testing of bead samples to correlate mechanical properties with in-situ process parameters such as linear energy density.  He is also working to develop models for predicting bead hardness given in situ-process measurements.  Looking forward, Daniel plans to continue his research at a graduate level in pursuit of a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

Suemin Lee: My name is Suemin Lee, and I am a third-year undergraduate student from Pittsburgh, PA, pursuing a B.S. in Civil Engineering with minors in Sustainable Cities and Computer Science at Georgia Tech. During 2021, as a member of the Vertically Integrated Project: Building Sustainability and Equity, I worked with students to design and administer surveys for youth in Clarkston, GA, to assess how the community’s existing transportation systems could better serve them using the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach. This experience compelled me to explore how equitable sustainable development in transportation and other cornerstones of everyday life can simultaneously minimize the effects of climate change and empower communities. In the fall of 2021, I joined the Social Equity and Environmental Engineering Lab (SEEEL) as an Undergraduate Research Assistant under the guidance of Dr. Joe Bozeman. Throughout researching the food-energy-water nexus, circularity of plastics, and the environmental impact of foods, my goal has been to understand what socioeconomic and cultural barriers prevent disadvantaged groups from engaging in sustainable, environmentally friendly behaviors.  Outside of SEEEL, I am a part-time Transportation Planning intern for Kimley-Horn and an event lead for HexLabs, a student-run organization that hosts STEM programs for high school and college students. In my free time, I like to explore new coffee shops, listen to podcasts, and travel with my friends.

Brandon Perry: Brandon Perry is a 5th year B.S. Materials Science and Engineering Student pursuing a minor in Industrial Design. He currently works as a Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Stingelin Lab led by Dr. Natalie Stingelin. His research focuses on flow cell batteries that can be renewed using UV light. Studying the reaction of a Ti-organic hybrid system and how various conditions such as electrode preparation, pH, intensity of UV light and more can affect the ability for the system to be renewed under UV light, the end goal of his research is a workable prototype to show the feasibility of the concept in a commercial application. 

Sarang Pujari: Sarang Pujari is currently a third-year Computer Science Major with a minor in Climate Change expecting to graduate from Georgia Tech through the BS/MS program. One of his pillars is utilizing his technical and business skills to tackle one of the world’s most pressing issues: climate change. His work has impacted communities across all levels. As an undergraduate student, he contributed to an Autoregressive Integrative Moving Average (ARIMAX) forecasting model to predict solar irradiance and maximize solar farm productivity across the state. At the institutional level, Sarang and his team drafted a proposal for an In-House Composter on Georgia Tech's campus that would provide a tangible impact to Georgia Tech's climate action plan. His most recent research focused on the UrbanHeatATL project through Georgia Tech's Global Change Program. The program’s mission is to visualize temperature sensor data to generate heat maps for the city of Atlanta and study the major effects of the urban heat island effect on our local community. His work helped streamline the data collection and processing of the sensor data as well as calculate metrics using data manipulation and visualization. Moving forward, he will continue to explore his interests in Climate Tech VC and product development.