Chemical engineering graduate student awarded NSF INTERN supplement

Published: Oct 12, 2022 1:00 PM

By Virginia Speirs

The National Science Foundation awarded an INTERN supplement to graduate chemical engineering student Antara Mazumder. The supplement will allow Mazumder to live and conduct research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, California to learn how to build solar fuel devices and test the membranes she has been developing as part of a NSF-funded project.

Solar fuel devices are electrochemical cells that convert carbon dioxide into chemicals such as methanol and acetate, which are feedstock chemicals for a lot of the chemical industry and which are predominantly sourced from petroleum.

Mazumder conducts her research under the supervision of Bryan Beckingham, associate professor of chemical engineering and Ginn Faculty Achievement Fellow.

“This project was driven by Antara’s desire to test the membranes she’s developed in real devices, and will allow her to extend her research from understanding the fundamental structure-property relationships in her materials to investigating how these different structures impact device efficiency for solar fuels devices,” Beckingham said.

“We’re really excited that through the NSF INTERN program she’ll be able to spend several months at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory learning how to fabricate and test solar fuel devices working with world experts in the Department of Energy Liquid Sunlight Alliance. This is a testament to the exciting work Antara is doing on our NSF funded membrane research for solar fuel devices and will enable us to really push our materials design in this application,” he added.

To be eligible for the supplement, graduate students must have completed at least one academic year in their graduate programs and be making satisfactory progress towards the completion of their degrees, according to the National Science Foundation. NSF plans to fund up to approximately 260 supplements in each fiscal year. 

“This specific NSF INTERN award will help me to get the opportunity of learning to fabricate solar fuel devices at Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and see the impact of different membrane chemistry on fuel cell efficiency,” Mazumder said. “This whole research will be an invaluable experience for us as a group since the Beckingham Polymer Research Group is motivated toward developing new membrane materials for fuel cell devices.”

Media Contact: Cassie Montgomery,, 334.844.3668
Bryan Beckingham and Antara Mazumder

Bryan Beckingham and Antara Mazumder

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