Graduate student Ashish Kulkarni selected for Ross J. Martin Award


Mr. Kulkarni, who is part of Paul Braun’s group, was selected in a college-wide competition for outstanding research achievement by a graduate student.

“Ashish has been an incredible asset to my group, and this award is wonderful recognition of his intellectual leadership and hard work as a PhD student,” said Braun.

Kulkarni’s dissertation work involved developing a new concept of template-directed solidification of eutectic materials, which lead to an unprecedented set of morphologies that can be reconfigured via a simple tuning knob, the rate of solidification, using exactly the same template and eutectic material.

As summarized in a recent Nature paper, his work outlines a simple approach of designing intricate patterns and opens new doors for tailor-made materials for the future.

“When I had joined MatSE in 2015, my only goal was to perform solid research for my Ph.D. work,” said Kulkarni. “It was only because of the many discussions with my advisor Prof. Braun and all the collaborators that we were able to take my research forward to the next level. I am thankful to the world-class facilities, especially at MRL, that I had to my disposal here at UIUC and the support by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research." 

The award is named for Ross J. Martin, a member of the faculty of the College of Engineering for 40 years, the last 26 of which he served as Associate Dean and Director of the Engineering Experiment Station.